Animal stockades

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KellyJ
Posts: 9
Joined: 14 Jan 2019, 14:32

Animal stockades

Post by KellyJ » 14 Jan 2019, 14:39

Hello there! I came across this site whilst trying to find a bit more about animal stockades. I can’t really find anything online so perhaps you can help. Near me in High Wycombe (South Bucks) is an area of land fairly well documented that contains the remains of a hawthorn circle (I have photos) which I believe to be a hawthorn stockade. Would anyone have any info on this type of stockade and stockades in general? The land has been used agriculturally for at least a few hundred years and I have found a document supporting this. Would love to know more about this circle of thorns.

KellyJ
Posts: 9
Joined: 14 Jan 2019, 14:32

Animal stockades

Post by KellyJ » 15 Jan 2019, 13:52

Hello, was my previous question regarding hawthorn stockades received please? Thankyou

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webweaver
Posts: 32
Joined: 25 Jun 2017, 09:54

Re: Animal stockades

Post by webweaver » 22 Jan 2019, 08:23

Hi Kellyj
I'm sorry I did not approve your topic post sooner! (I have to have post-approval switched on for new members to prevent spam being posted, but I don't receive notifications about the approvals.)

I can add my tuppence-worth: I am sure animal stockades would have been made out of hawthorns, as we know that thorny plants protected saplings in the New Forest (keeping animals out, rather than in), though I am not sure whether we have any documentary evidence that they were planted specially for the purpose.

Catherine

KellyJ
Posts: 9
Joined: 14 Jan 2019, 14:32

Re: Animal stockades

Post by KellyJ » 25 Jan 2019, 18:18

Thankyou! Yes, I thought the hawthorn stockades were to keep animals within protected from predators (this was from some info I found online) which made me wonder how old this particular hawthorn stockade is. It’s difficult to tell as the hawthorns have been planted fairly close together so they won’t have been able to reach their full potential. As they can live well over 300 years old (I remember reading the oldest is 700) I actually got a little carried away and wondered if this stockade had been used to keep wolves from livestock! Perhaps a little far fetched but a slight possibility, maybe! I’m in South Bucks by the way. I shall do as you say and attach photos and check your library. Thankyou!

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webweaver
Posts: 32
Joined: 25 Jun 2017, 09:54

Re: Animal stockades

Post by webweaver » 25 Jan 2019, 18:28

I wouldn't believe everything you read online!

I would like to hear what other agricultural historians think, as this is not within my expertise, but
a) how would the stock get in and out of a hawthorn stockade?
b) wouldn't shepherds, dogs, hurdles, etc be more effective?
and
c) perhaps if it was a stockade, consider whether it might have been to protect trees (which have died since of other causes)?

KellyJ
Posts: 9
Joined: 14 Jan 2019, 14:32

Re: Animal stockades

Post by KellyJ » 26 Jan 2019, 09:55

Good point about getting the animals from within out! We’ve noticed there seems to be part of an inner ring too with a gap, perhaps there was a gate at some point. I shall continue searching, Thankyou.

KellyJ
Posts: 9
Joined: 14 Jan 2019, 14:32

Re: Animal stockades

Post by KellyJ » 26 Jan 2019, 16:36

I have found out a little more about hawthorn stockades. They were built with an inner circle with a gap (‘mine’ does have an inner circle) and the outer circle was built also with a gap but was filled with thorn branches that could be removed.

Alan Wadsworth
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Joined: 26 Jun 2017, 11:04

Re: Animal stockades

Post by Alan Wadsworth » 26 Jan 2019, 21:12

A thought - I wonder whether your “stockade” is a pound for holding stray animals until they were reclaimed and paid for? In this case, the gap in the hedge could have been closed with a gate which was used on a temporary basis (perhaps borrowed from elsewhere) and thus is no longer present. In the past, many villages had such a facility. How large is your stockade?

KellyJ
Posts: 9
Joined: 14 Jan 2019, 14:32

Re: Animal stockades

Post by KellyJ » 27 Jan 2019, 09:58

Thankyou so much. That’s very interesting. I’m going to take some measurements this week and get photos. I would say it’s approx up to about 50’ across. It’s difficult to accurately age the hawthorns as they are planted fairly close to each other, I’m guessing they won’t have reached their full potential circumference wise but they are old! This stockade is in an area that was agricultural hundreds of years ago and in a very small hamlet that was k own as Four Ashes. There’s a very interesting coffin trail nearby which links this field to the valley whereby the villagers from Four Ashes could take the dead down to the church in Hughenden Valkey. I’m finding this all very fascinating; if I could just age the stockade it would help! Thanks again!

rwhoyle
Posts: 15
Joined: 25 Jun 2017, 13:45

Re: Animal stockades

Post by rwhoyle » 27 Jan 2019, 14:05

It would be interesting to see the hawthorns to see how mature they are. I don't think of Hawthorn as being particularly long lived, but that might be mistake.

Also the exact location to see whether the stockade has any presence on the map, contemporary ort historic. Is it on common land?

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