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Is this Lancashire’s wackiest ornament?

Photo Ian Robinson
Margo Grimshaw, from Toad Hall near Samlesbury, who has an old pair of wooden stocks that she is looking to give away

Photo Ian Robinson Margo Grimshaw, from Toad Hall near Samlesbury, who has an old pair of wooden stocks that she is looking to give away

Forget gnomes or scarecrows, is this the county’s wackiest garden ornament?

Many people decorate their lawns with weird and wonderful objects but one Lancastrian woman has a medieaval punishment device hidden away amongst her flowerbeds.

These old stocks have been on display in Margo Grimshaw’s garden for the past 30 years.

But now Margo wants to stop the rot and preserve the ancient stocks by returning them to a historic 14th-century setting.

The hall was built in 1325 and Margo originally discovered the age-old stocks in a sale at the Grade I listed Samlesbury Hall, near Preston.

And now Margo, who lives in Toad Hall near Samlesbury, is offering the Hall the medieval device for display.

She said: “When I first bought the stocks everyone said, ‘What on earth are you doing that for?’

“I have no idea how old they are but I think they go back 500 years. I bought them at a sale at Samlesbury Hall around 30 years ago.

“And they have been stored in my garden ever since.

“They are a bit different and they are in good condition but they will just decay over time and I want them to be appreciated by people. I’m thinking of giving them back to Samlesbury Hall, it would be nice to give them to somewhere historic.

“I have been doing my garden up, they have been stood there all this time and it is time for someone else to enjoy them.”

Stocks were used internationally as a form of physical punishment, the last time the public humiliation device was used in the UK was 1872.

And Margo revealed her stocks were used at several events as a light-hearted game.

She said: “They’ve been used once or twice at garden fetes, people have been locked in and had sponges thrown at them.

“They’ve been part of my garden for so long, there is some sentimental value to them. But hopefully people can appreciate them in a historic setting.”

 

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