Ancient stone has been stolen

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Madam,

I wonder if readers are aware that a piece of our local history has been stolen.

Having a rare day off work a week or so ago, I set off on one of my favourite walks in the area, from Tansley to Lea and back via the pretty hilltop hamlet of Dethick.

Leaving the footpath and crossing into the lane towards Lea, I looked out for one of our local landmarks – the circular “Gibbet Stone” set in the verge. They say that from a beam mounted in its square socket hole, the bodies of executed felons were once displayed as a warning to other criminals.

Imagine my surprise to see that the ancient stone had been removed.

Judging by the wide tyre tracks slashing the verge, someone backed a JCB up to it and loaded up the historic relic, no doubt intending to break it up and sell it for rockery stone.

On consulting the parish council minutes I see that the theft took place in February, and that local police are working to find out who committed the crime.

I remember an old man who lived in the area once saying to me that anyone who moved a stone with such a dark and bloody history would surely find that a curse went with it.

Anyone who knows where the Gibbet Stone was taken might want to think on this.

Linda Hardy

Matlock Road

Brackenfield