Mention of the “Pinfold Croft” in old newspapers.

Further research has taken place at Stafford Record Office that sheds more light on the history of the pinfold, suggesting it was in existence in 1827.

We already knew that the 1814 Tithe Map showed the garden of “The Hining” (red brick detached house near the pinfold), as field No. 33, being owned by the Duke of Devonshire, whose primary interest in Whiston was the Copper Works.  The field is shown as extending to the triangular point of the junction of the turnpike road (A52) and Black Lane, but no pinfold is shown, suggesting that it had not been built in 1814. (Click on below map to enlarge.)

1814 Tithe Map Field No.33 owned by Duke of Devonshire 0a 2r 2p

1814 Tithe Map Field No.33 owned by Duke of Devonshire 0a 2r 2p in area.

Between 1818 and 1821 the Duke of Devonshire sold the Copper Works to the Sneyd family.  It is not known if the field was included in the sale.

In June 1826 the Sneyd family initiated a survey of land and properties in the Manor of Whiston, including the names of owners and occupiers.  (The document includes valuable information regarding dimensions of buildings that may be of interest to any resident of old properties in the village.)  Unfortunately, the numbered plan has not survived and whilst the surviving schedule records owners and occupiers of many areas of land, it makes no specific mention of the pinfold, either by name or field area.

On Saturday 18 August 1827  The Staffordshire Advertiser reported for sale the assets of Josiah Fernihough (bankrupt timber merchant of Frogall) including numerous properties and plots of land in the areas of Ipstones, Thorncliffe and Whiston. Lot 25 of Fernihough’s assets was the “Pinfold Croft” at Whiston in the occupation of Samuel Keen.   Apparently the plot did not sell at that time, as in the following year it was included again in a similar advertisement, this time as Lot 10, on Saturday 09 August 1828.  In the earliest entry the area of the plot  is shown as one acre, whereas the 1828 advertisement records the Pinfold Croft as being 0a 2r 2p, matching exactly with the record for field No.33 on the 1814 Tithe Map.  The reason for the area discrepancy between the two advertisements is not known.  It is possible that the 1827 entry was a rough estimate, whereas by 1828 the measurement had been more accurately refined.

Staffordshire Advertiser 18 Aug 1827.

Staffordshire Advertiser 18 Aug 1827.


Staffordshire Advertiser 09 Aug 1828

Staffordshire Advertiser 09 Aug 1828

The evidence adds weight to the Pinfold Croft being today’s garden of The Hyning and narrows probable pinfold construction down to the period between 1814 and 1827.

Josiah Fernihough is not recorded as a property owner or occupier in the 1826 Sneyd survey, suggesting that he bought the Pinfold Croft, probably from the Sneyds,  after the survey was completed, sometime between June 1826 and August 1827.

Samuel Keen, (a butcher in the 1841 census), the occupier of the pinfold croft in 1827 & 1828, is recorded in the 1826 Sneyd survey as an occupier of a house and several plots of land (location not known as the plan has not survived), owned by Clement Sneyd, but the Pinfold Croft is not included as one of his holdings either by name or area designation.