Saturday, 14 May 2011

Stocks................... seen on my commute to work

My journey to work is lovely and  I view some beautiful countryside.
I pass through a few old villages with lots of history on my journey and one feature I thought I would share are the ancient punishment stocks.
 Stocks outside the church....  Great Budworth
Stocks are devices used in the medieval times as a form of physical punishment involving public humiliation. The stocks partially immobilized its victims and they were often exposed in a public place such as the site of a market to the scorn of those who passed by. Since the purpose was to punish offenders against the standards of conduct of the time, anybody could assault, revile or aim filth at the victim.

High Legh
       Warburton stocks are of great antiquity. The stone was quarried either at Lymm or the quarry behind Oughtrington Hall, which also provided the stone for the rebuilding of Lymm Church.
 On the South post of the stocks are "scars" which indicate that hand clasps were once fitted and used for whipping purposes.
When stocks were first introduced as a method of corrective punishment, is not clearly known. In 1376 the Commons pleaded Edward III for their establishment in every village. So this dates back 600 years as to their use.
Frequently, one of the posts was also used as a whipping or "Rogues" post, which came into vogue about 1596. Prior to this, it was customary to use a cart tail.

In the image above the structure behind was the mount for a cross, long since gone
There are stocks in various states of disrepair to be found extant in the villages of Great Budworth, High Legh, Lymm, Partington and further afield at Grappenhall and Mobberley.


Gary said...

Great post Andrew!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

texwisgirl said...

wow! such medieval history in your midst!

grammie g said...

Hi Andrew..These structures have obviously been well taken care off to exist today ....very interesting history of this form of punishment....probably would be a good idea for a few types of crimes today lol !!
Thanks for sharing once again your life, and the past culture in photos and words!! ♥

Gardener in the Distance said...

Ouch! It's disturbing to realise that punishment then was so public - but I guess, in small, coherent communities, it was considered the way to stamp out anything that threatened the wellbeing of the group.
Was everyone so punished guilty? Were those who humiliated them so innocent?
Glad to know we can look at these as history, though the world seems to have developed smarter devices since...

Valerie said...

Wonderful pictures. I think re-use might work wonders. At least some of the daily crime might then be eliminated if only by fear of exposure.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Oh yikes! The good old days huh? Wonderful pictures and history lesson and terrific that these pieces have been preserved so well.

I hope the comment just above is at least partly tongue-in-cheek. There has to be a better way. They used stocks over here on this side of the pond too, but I think they were just wooden structures and I doubt if any have been preserved..