Christchurch - A Dorset Diamond

Christchurch - A Dorset Diamond, Christchurch, England (B)

On arrival in the Dorset town of Christchurch I was intrigued by a sign directing me to the Ducking Stool. I set off down a narrow lane beside Ye Olde George Inn, the oldest pub in the town. Originally called the George and Dragon this old coach house was built during the fifteenth century. In the early eighteenth century the old timber framed building was refaced with brick. Princess Victoria who later became Queen Victoria rested her horses here when she visited the Priory. 

The Ducking Stool is not original although its replica is close to its original site. A general misconception of the ducking stool relates to the identification of witches but it is unlikely it was ever used for this purpose in Britain. It was used to punish and publicly ridicule scolds. They were women who were found guilty of verbal abuse, brawling and general anti-social behaviour. The miscreant was tied to a chair which was attached to a beam and positioned over water. She would then be raised and lowered into the water as many times as decreed by her ‘sentence’. The first recorded use of the ducking stool in Christchurch was in 1350 and the last in 1809. The replica was placed by the Mill Stream in 1986 to celebrate the centenary of Queen Victoria granting the charter that gave Christchurch borough status. The Mill Stream would have been much wider and deeper when the original chair was in place but the stream has silted up since then. ...... (follow the instructions below for accessing the rest of this article).
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Guide Name: Christchurch - A Dorset Diamond
Guide Location: England » Christchurch
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (B))
Author: Valery Collins
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Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Ye Olde George Inn
  • Ducking Stool
  • Christchurch Castle
  • Kings Arms Hotel
  • Jonathon Sells of Corfe Castle
  • New Forest Perfumery and Tea Rooms
  • Red House Museum
  • Boathouse