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The Poind And His Man

Standing Stone / Menhir


Here's something that mentions two stones being at the site:
1718. Warburton in a letter to Roger Gale, Jan. 5, this year, says, that about two miles south of Thornton, close by the military way called the Devil's Causeway, "are two large stones standing on their end like those at Borrowbridge, but not so big, and betwixt them a tumulus, which I was at the expence of opening, and in it found a stone coffin, about three feet in length, two in breadth, and two in depth, which was black in the inside with smoke, and had in it several lumps of glutinous matter, which my workmen would needs have to be pieces of the dead hero's flesh.

It was covered over with two flat stones, and not above a yard in depth from the summit of the tumulus, but had neither inscription, bones, coins, urns, or other remarkable thing." -- (Hutchinson's Northd.)

The highly interesting and remarkable group of antiquities here spoken of, are represented in the annexed engraving.

They are called the Poind and his man, and are situated on the north side of Harnham moor, Northumberland. Lord Wharton's "Order of the Watches upon the Middle Marches" in 1552, directs "the watch to be kept at the Two Stones, called the Poind and his Man, with two men nightly, of the inhabitors of Bollame." -- Hodgson's Northd.
You can see the drawing here
in 'The Local Historian's Table Book' 1841 (v1) by M A Richardson.


I wondered what 'poind' might mean - the OED gives a couple of related meanings. One is to do with seizing someone's possessions when they can't otherwise pay a debt (or to encourage them to pay up) - the poind is the property, beast or other type of possession.

However, an unusual northern use of the word means a pinfold - a pen for animals - possibly the 'distrained', seized animals like the ones above.

So it's tempting to think one stone was the poind and one the man - but where does that leave the mound? This old book speculates that was the pen, and the original name 'the poind and his men.. who knows.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
29th June 2008ce
Edited 29th June 2008ce

Comments (1)

Cheers for finding that Rhiannon. I've read that excerpt somewhere in a dusty old tome, but the photograph of the page will be languishing in a forgotten folder with one of those inscrutable filenames that cameras give jpegs.

There's a reasonable chance that there were once more than two stones. The one at Middleton Moor and the one at Wallington Hall are both supposed to have come from the Poind.
Hob Posted by Hob
29th June 2008ce
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