As you pass by to the right of the Old School, you will see, on the left, the ‘pound’ or ‘pinfold’ as it was sometimes called. This was an enclosure that was generally maintained either by the Manor or the Church. The Uppingham pinfold dates back to the C12 and lay within the lordship of the ‘Preston with Uppingham Manor’. The Lord owned the land, but it was in common use by and for the townsfolk who appointed a ‘Pindar’ annually to look after it. In 1902 Robert Draper of Uppingham, wine merchant and owner of ‘The Vaults’ purchased the Pinfold from Lord Gainsborough for £10, who sold it on the James Thorpe, again of ‘The Vaults’ for £30 in 1923. In 1935 James Thorpe sold it on for the same amount to the Rev. C Aldred for the same amount. It is now in private hands.
Beast Hill refers to the large sward of sloping grass extending down to South View, and originally was the holding point for animals that had been walked to market, which was the norm pre railway and lorry! It was here that the original twice weekly cattle market was held, with interconnected market activity in the Market Place. The land is now owned by Uppingham Town Council
The pound would have been used for, amongst other things, to hold beasts which were being walked to market as was the norm pre-railways. The herdsmen would have stayed in the town overnight and kept their beasts in the pound for safety. As it was just off ‘scale hill’ (the steep bit of London Road) it meant they were closer to the road the next morning.
The Market is another reason why the bank on High Street West was established so early. It was safer to put your money in the bank, having sold your beast/sat the twice weekly market than risk being robbed on the journey home. This highlights the importance of the town’s market. You can also see some tethering rings on houses in North Street West adjacent to the bank.