Stocks or pillory?

Earlier this week we met up with our best friends from Birmingham days, who were staying in the north-west for a few days.

It was a damp, drizzly day, not particularly conducive to walking or even to sitting around outside, so we decided to go for a pub lunch instead. The first place we tried wasn’t doing food (there’s a current shortage of chefs) but they recommended the oldest pub in Bowness, the wonderfully named Hole in’t Wall.

And it was lovely. We sat near a roaring log fire watching the diagonal drizzle through ancient mullioned windows, while eating really good homemade food. It was so warm and welcoming that we didn’t really want to leave!

The pub’s “proper” name is the New Hall Inn but nobody ever calls it that. The story goes that it used to have a blacksmith’s forge next door, and the smiths got so hot and thirsty that they needed to drink copious amounts of beer. So a hole was knocked through the wall to the bar, and tankards of ale passed through whenever they needed refreshment!

This time round we spotted that they had a new feature in the front garden – a rather nifty set of either stocks or pillory. I think it’s the latter, as stocks would have a seat and only two holes, for the miscreant’s feet to poke through, while this has a central space for the head. The holes are covered by Perspex so there’s no chance of customers getting stuck in them!

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