In the past ‘the sheepfold was the sheet-anchor and mainstay of husbandry. The same flocks that were driven each morning to feed on the downs, wolds, hills, heaths, commons, and pastures, were brought back to the ploughland at night to be folded behind hurdles, in small and crowded pens, so that they would deposit there the residues resulting from their day’s nibbling, chewing and drinking. The sheep were thus used as four-footed muckspreaders, or, rather, as mobile combinations of fertiliser manufacturers, distributors and spreaders, fetching their own raw materials and processing them, and delivering and applying their products𠉩 . The whole farm was laid out and run to suit the sheep, but only on the strict understanding that they devoted themselves to fertilising the land for corn and grain.’ (Eric Kerridge, The Farmers of Old England.)