Welcome to the Pinfold at Riley Green

Residents of the Parish of Hoghton have the right to enjoy lawful sports and recreational pastimes on the Pinfold. Please ensure that you take your rubbish with you and respect the privacy of the residents nearby.

Access to the Pinfold is only via this gate, please do not use any other.


A Pinfold in Medieval Britain was an enclosure where stray animals were rounded up if their owners failed to properly supervise their use of common grazing land. They were also used by drovers taking their stock to market to pen the animals to allow both animals and drovers to take rest and refreshment.

The terms ‘pinfold’ and ‘pound’ are Saxon in origin. Pundfald and pund both mean an enclosure. There appears to be no difference between a pinfold and a village pound. Nearly every village once had its pound for stray cattle, pigs, geese, etc. to be driven into and there kept at the expense of the owner, till such time as he should pay the fine (the amount claimed by the person on whose land they had strayed, for damage done), and the fee to the pound keeper, man or sometimes woman, for feeding and watering the same.

If not claimed in three weeks, the animals were driven to the nearest market and sold, the proceeds going to the impounder and pound-keeper. An ingenious form of receipt was sometimes used. The person who found the animals on his land cut a stick and made notches, one for every beast, and then split the stick down the centre of the notches so that half each notch appeared on each stick; one half he kept, the other he gave to the pound-keeper. When the owner came to redeem his property and had paid for the damage done, the impounder gave him his half stick. He took this to the pound-keeper, and if the two pieces tallied, it proved he had paid and his beast was freed. Hence the word tally-stick and the pound-keeper being referred to as the tallyman". The person in charge of the pinfold was also known as the 'pinder', giving rise to the surname Pinder.

In 2011 Hoghton Parish Council in conjunction with Chorley Council undertook a project to restore the land to its original condition it previously being planted with trees. A bench has been put on the Pinfold which was donated by Chorley Council and is dedicated to former Parish Councillor Joe Proctor.

Modern Day

Today the Pinfold is registered under the Common Registration Act as Common Land and a Village Green and responsibility for its maintenance lies with Hoghton Parish Council. Under Section 45 of the Commons Registration Act 2006 local authorities have the power to protect Village Greens. The Parish Council owns the land and this was confirmed by the Land Registry in January 2011 and The Lancashire County Council Commons Registration Section in February 2011. It was agreed at the time that the land would need to be maintained on a regular basis by the Parish Council. An established right of way exists for the properties 21 to 29 Riley Green which gives access to the rear of the properties via the small gate immediately adjacent to no 29 Riley Green. The gate to the rear of Green Lane has been in existence for over 20 years and therefore has established rights of custom and practice. The land leading to the gate is owned by the occupiers of Green Lane. There is no public right of way and cannot be used by the public for access to the Pinfold. The only legal access to the Pinfold is via this gate.

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