Henry I established a Benedictine Priory on this site, but Henry VIIIs suppression of the Monasteries put paid to this although the church remains. On one of the inside walls are the fascinating remains of a 13th century ‘Wheel of Life’ mural.
There is a glorious peel of 10 bells but oddly no clock face on the tower
The town Ducking Stool.
In fact this was more commonly known as a Cucking Stool, and in medieval England it was used as a punishment in the form of public humiliation – usually for unsavoury or excessively irritating women! Just nagging your husband would be enough to warrant use of this stool, as well as the act of continually annoying your neighbours!
The woman would be made to sit on the stool and then she could be trundled around for a while so that people could hurl rotten food at her; then she would be repeatedly “ducked” into the nearest pond or stream – the dirtier and colder the better.
There was a much darker use for the ducking stool however, when it was used as a test to see if a woman was a witch. The unfortunate lady would be ducked under the water, and if she died then she was declared innocent of withcraft. However, if she survived then it was declared that she had been saved by the devil, and she was executed forthwith. A bit of a no win situation going on here!
Photo reproduced by kind permission of Paul Scott