The Brown Berry Chair is also known as the Judge's Chair. The chair is in Dunnabridge Pound.
There are many different stories recounting how the so-called Judge's Chair came to be there. The most common connects it with the Crockern Tor stannary court which existed on Dartmoor by 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 actual purpose of the Judge's Chair was probably 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 they would be impounded. This meant being locked in the stocks placed within the wall of the pound.
An interesting feature of this photograph is the building to the left of the Judge's Chair. This is Brownberry Farm and no longer exists on the site. The last tenant was a Mr Coaker, who lived and worked at the farm during the beginning of the 20th century.
Updated on May 17, 2018
SX 64534 74705