Ancient History

Ducking Pond Where Witches Were Drowned

Long since abandoned this depression in the ground was once a lot deeper and filled with water.

This is where witches were tied to a ‘cucking stool’ and lowered into the water. If they drowned then they were innocent of witchcraft and if the survived then they were deemed guilty and hung.

A 1555 German print showing the burning of witches. Current scholarly estimates of the number of people executed for witchcraft in Europe vary between 40,000 and 100,000. The number of witch trials in Europe known to have ended in executions is around 12,000


Ducking stools were infamously used around Europe as a technique to single out witches in the 1600s. But in reality, there were more commonly used to punish ‘scolds’ – women who caused a nuisance by frequently arguing with their neighbours or their husbands…

The pond is still full of water to this day.

Below is from and gives us a great insight….

The Medieval Ducking Stool was specifically used as a torture method for women. The device was a chair which was hung from the end of a free-moving arm. The woman was strapped into the chair which was situated by the side of a river.

Illustration from a Pearson Scott Foresman text book.

The device would then be swung over the river by the use of the free-moving arm. The woman would then be ducked into the freezing cold water. The length of immersion into the water was decided by the operator and the crime of which the woman was accused. It could last for just a few seconds but in some circumstances this punishment process could be continuously repeated over the course of a day. The Medieval Ducking Stool was a punishment strictly designed for women.

The crimes which deemed such a punishment were prostitution and witchcraft. Scolds were also punished by this method. A scold was a term given to a gossip, shrew or bad tempered woman during the Medieval times and era. A scold was defined as: “A troublesome and angry woman who by brawling and wrangling amongst her neighbours breaks the public peace, increases discord and becomes a public nuisance to the neighbourhood”.

Stream Fed

©It’s Historia

The pond would have been fed by a very small stream which is close by and a channel must have been dug from it to the pond.

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Another Article From Us: Jewish Cemetery 1/4 Million Abandoned Gravestones

This remarkable piece of history is at Pamphill, Wimborne, Dorset, England and is a fantastic relic of our past. Today it is a field grazed but the local dairy herd – back in the day it was a scene of violence, torture and pain and was viewed as entertainment by the locals