The 'Stone of justice'

The 'Stone of justice'

Thanks to Richard for sending this photo of what he calls the ‘Stone of justice’. He says that most folk walk straight past it, but that I should be able to see it from my window – so I’m assuming it must be somewhere near the church. But with a few inches of snow still covering the ground, I think I’d struggle to find it at the moment!

From the photo, it looks like a fairly hefty stone. And with it’s iron shackle, I’m surprised I haven’t noticed it. (Click here to view larger photo.) Richard says that it was used to temporarily secure a prisoner before the local court, known as the ‘Court of Pied Poudre’, could deal with the accused.

Richard adds: “The Wheel pub on the High Street was used as a courthouse for the Court of Pied Poudre (literally, from the Norman French for ‘dusty foot’).

“These courts were locally known as the Pie Powder Court, and were used to settle disputes at the fair. Miscreants were shackled to the stone of justice. The last court at the Wheel Inn was in 1872, and I have a full list of those involved. The Chester family occupied the Wheel at the time – they were a well-known local family.”

Richard has a lot more information about this local court. It sounds fascinating, but we just need someone to transcribe a mass of hand-written notes. Any volunteers – please get in touch!

2 Comments

  1. There is another large stone in the village that local historian, Dennis Hurton told me had historical significance. It’s on the corner of High Street and Mill Lane. He said that it was used in the days before tarmac, to flatten the road when it had become too cut up.

  2. When the snow thaws David you will find this long (almost) forgotten piece of local history close to the old vestry door, on the north side of the church…