Dartmoor Trust Archive
Preserving Dartmoor's recorded history
Looking after Dartmoor's history, people and environment
The Judge's Chair in Dunnabridge Pound
There are many different stories recounting how the so-called Judge's Chair came to be in Dunnabridge Pound. The most common connects it with [LinkToda3302 Crockern Tor] the stannary court which existed on Dartmoor from around 1630. It is said that the seat was composed from the stannary court judge's chair, hence the name, and the canopy from the stannator's table. The purpose of the Judge's Chair was to provide shelter for the pound keeper. His role was to oversee animals that were driven to the pound following the drifts and to collect any necessary fines from their owners. Drifts were a round-up of livestock which had illegally depastured in the Forest of Dartmoor. If the owners of the livestock did not pay the fine the owners would be impounded. This meant being locked in the stocks placed within the wall of the pound. The building to the left of the Judge's Chair is [LinkToda3410 Brownberry Farm] and no longer exists. The last tenant was a Mr Coaker, who lived and worked at the farm at the beginning of the 20th century.