The Pinder Meadow Charity

Hope Pinfold and the Pinder’s Meadow

Hope’s historic Pinfold and the associated Pinder’s Meadow are cared for by the Pinder Meadow Charity, a small charitable trust that uses the income from letting the grazing of the meadow to maintain the Pinfold. The Charity is committed to preserving this historic structure and to appropriate management of the meadow, which forms part of Hope’s historic field pattern.

Drawing of the Pinfold by Keith Green

Hope Pinfold

The village Pinfold, an old circular stone structure, can be found by the side of Pindale Road, just south of Watergates Bridge (Grid Reference: SK17178337). It was used to hold or “impound” stray cattle and sheep. The name Pinfold derives from Old English ‘pundfald’, comprising the word ‘pund’ for pound and ‘fald’ meaning fold. The date of its construction is unknown, but we do know that there was a “pound” of some sort in Hope in the seventeenth century, as records show that, in 1676, an individual was fined by the Court of the Manor of Hope for “breaking the pound”. The Pinfold measures about 7 metres in diameter, with its tall walls constructed of rough limestone. There is a small wooden door on the northeastern side. Many villages across rural areas of England had Pinfolds that dated back to medieval times. Some were rectangular or irregular in shape. Only a few now remain intact, with many having been lost over the years due to road widening or building works.

The impoundment system was governed by an ancient law relating to what was called “Distress damage feasant”. This permitted stray animals to be seized and impounded until compensation had been paid for any damage caused. Up until 1989 Hope employed a Pinder or “Pinner” to manage the system. He was responsible for rounding up stray livestock, impounding them in the Pinfold and returning them to their owners for a fee. The Pinder had legal powers and could charge the owners of the stray animals for the feed he provided, as well as for any damage that had been caused to land belonging to others. Rules that governed the use of the Hope Pinfold in the 1940s, at a time when the impoundment system was less tightly controlled by the Pinder, are still displayed within the structure.

In 1947 fourteen sheep strayed into four different Hope gardens, where they ate vegetables and other produce. The sheep were impounded and released back to the farmer upon payment of a fine. In theory the householders of the damaged gardens were entitled to compensation, but they discovered that they should have made their claim before the sheep were released, and so were unlucky on this occasion. In 1967 over 300 stray sheep were impounded at Hope, indicating that field boundaries were not as well maintained as they are these days! The release fees at this time were 12½ pence per head in the summer and 7½ pence in winter. An additional amount had to be paid to the Pinder to cover his expenses, and anyone caught illicitly removing their animals from the Pinfold was subject to a hefty fine.

The last Pinder of Hope was Thomas Woodhouse of Castleton Road, who held the job for 30 years prior to his death in 1989 aged 77 years.

Today, wild flowers flourish within the Pinfold. In spring Lesser celandines and Forget-me-nots carpet the ground and in summer you will see the blue flowers of Meadow cranesbill, as well as Cow parsley, Hedge woundwort, Ox-eye daisies, Common Hogweed and Willowherbs. This “mini meadow” is strimmed in late
summer/early autumn once the flowers have set seed.

The Pinfold
Wild flowers in the Pinfold

Pinder’s Meadow

Pinder’s Meadow lies on the northern side of the village, to the rear of Eccles Close (Grid reference SK1690 8374). A public footpath that runs from Mary Lane to Edale Road cuts across the field, which is just over two acres in size. The meadow may have been used as a source of hay to feed the animals impounded in the Pinfold. It was also used as a source of income for the Pinder to maintain the Pinfold. In 1921 the Pinder, Mr N. Tym, received £2 per annum from the letting out of the meadow. The date at which the Pinder of Hope took over the management of this land is unknown, but the 1819 Enclosure Award and Map show that a small field was then allotted to the Pinder, Thomas Wilcockson, to supplement a larger field known as Rider Meadow, which had previously been awarded to the Pinder of Hope. The two fields were merged into one- the field now known as Pinder’s Meadow.

Pinder’s Meadow lies on damp valley bottom ground. In spring it is full of Cuckoo flowers, and sedges such as Oval sedge can be found there. In winter, the damp valley fields in this area of Hope, which are dotted with Hawthorns and other shrubs and trees, are good places to see birds such as Fieldfares, Redwings and Reed buntings. In summer, Kestrels may be seen hovering over the fields as they search for their favourite prey item- the Field vole. Ravens and Buzzards can often be seen in the skies above, and Brown hares may be spotted in the spring. In a 2020 project funded by the Peak District National Park Foundation, the Pinder’s Meadow Charity restored an old hedge line on one side of Pinder’s Meadow. In drier years, as well as being used for sheep grazing, the meadow is sometimes cut for hay.

Pinder’s Meadow


Bunting, Julie (2004) Take a Look at: Pinfolds in the Peak
Peak Advertiser 5th April 2004 p45,
Reproduced in:

Chapman, Edwin (2003) Hope with Aston Parish Council 100 Years 1895-1995.  Extracts from Council Minutes. Hope with Aston Parish Council

Derbyshire Record Office File of correspondence and memorandum concerning the
laws relating to the pounding of stray animals in the Pinfold 1947. D3818/20

Derbyshire Record Office File of documents referring to various charities 1895-1958.

Derbyshire Record Office The Hope Old Book- Court Book of the Manor of Hope
3 Nov 1636-1 Mar 1690. D8173/UL/904

Derbyshire Record Office Letter about Pinder’s Meadow, 1932. D3818/31/5

Derbyshire Historic Environment Record Monument record MDR7667 Pinfold,
Pindale Road, Hope.

Porter, William Smith (1923) Notes from a Peakland Parish. An Account of the Church
and Parish of Hope in the County of Derby. Chapter IV The Parish Charities of Hope.
Reproduced in:

More information about Pinfolds