MacadamB53 wrote:Hi Geometer,
basically, you'd need to know the number of pounds that had ever been built and when they were built -
Kind regards, Mac
No, you don't need to know those things. All you need is some knowledge of the history of the English countryside, some understanding of the basic principles of landscape archaeology, and the ability to make logical deductions based on those principles and the available evidence.
One of the fundamental, axiomatic, principles of archaeology is that the older a structure is, the less likely its survival into modern times. The corollary of this is that the more recently a structure is built, the more likely it is to survive.
If, as you're hypothesising, the practice of pound-building continued into the C18/C19 on a scale in any way comparable to that of the previous 4 or 5 centuries, then logic dictates that a significant proportion of these later pounds would still be in existence - not necessarily more than survive from C16/C17, but a greater proportion of those built in that period. The fact that "most" survivals are from the C16/C17 implies that few, at best, survive from C18/C19, which in turn implies that significantly fewer, if any, were built.
"Implication" is not the same as "proof", I'll grant you, but if a significant number of pounds were actually built post-C17, then there has to be a reason why so few survive today. At the very least, it's a statistical anomaly that bears further investigation; at the most, it's a previously unrecognised phenomenon unprecedented in both the historical and the archaeological records.
I can think of only two possible explanations for this anomaly. The first is that, for some reason, the quality of pound-building plummeted on a national scale early in C18. Consequently, all pound walls built were constructed so shoddily, and succumbed so rapidly to wear-and-tear, that little trace of them remains today.
The alternative is that at some time in the late C19/early C20, for an unknown reason, some individual, or group of individuals, or class of persons, set out to deliberately, selectively, systematically and successfully remove all trace of village pounds built within the previous 200 years.
Both explanations are unsatisfactory. In fact, both explanations are utterly absurd. Given that, the only logical explanation for the lack of surviving C18/C19 village pounds is that they were never built in the first place.