Town Cross, Stocks and Whipping-Post, Rippledetails

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Town Cross, Stocks and Whipping-Post, Ripple, in Ripple, Worcestershire, England more

punishments, stocks, buildings, greyscale

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Town Cross, Stocks and Whipping-Post, Ripple

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Near the cross, relics of days when there were rogues in Ripple—sureley there are none now—are the oaken stocks and weather-beaten whipping-post.” (p. 132)

Stocks were sometimes used to hold people before they could be brought before a judge, or to let people drunk on alcohol get sober; they were also used as a punishment. People could steal your boots (and other clothes), or throw things at you, and often did both. Deaths from thrown objects were recorded in Britain, as well as accounts of people having all their clothes stolen, although that one might seem more likely in a city where you wouldn’t know the face of the person who did it! Being fastened naked with immovable ankles, legs, and sometimes hands, arms and neck might well lead to death from exposure, not to mention cramps.

The stocks hold the legs just above the ankle, so that one’s feet stick out. If they are high enough to hold the head and hands, they are called a pillory, although the terms are also used interchangeably.

The whipping-post, of course, was used to tie people to so that they could be whipped. It’s the taller post at one end of the wooden stocks.

Neither the whip nor the stocks have been used as offical punishments in Britain for a long long time.

The book describes the upright stone pole as a market cross.

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