Appeal sees stone found

Return To Stone - Dethick residents Sarah Dakin and Gilly Groom celebrate the return of the historic Gibbet Stone after it was taken from outside the village last month.
Return To Stone - Dethick residents Sarah Dakin and Gilly Groom celebrate the return of the historic Gibbet Stone after it was taken from outside the village last month.
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an ancient stone stolen from a Dales village has been found following an appeal in the Mercury last week.

The “Gibbet Stone” from Lea has been returned to its rightful spot after being discovered in undergrowth nearby.

The landmark, once used to support the gibbet where the bodies of wrongdoers would have been strung up as a warning to others, had stood at Shaw Lane Junction with Dethick Lane for hundreds of years.

It was believed anyone who moved the stone would be cursed.

Thieves used a JCB to steal the ancient relic but on Saturday it was found in shrubbery at the side of Dethick Lane, by Cromford man John Busswell.

Walker Linda Hardy, who contacted the Mercury after discovering the stone was missing, said this week: “Without the story appearing in the Matlock Mercury, I am certain the stone would not have been rediscovered. Did the thieves dump it after realising that it might be cursed?

“Perhaps we’ll never know, but thanks to Mr Busswell and the Mercury, a little piece of our local history may soon be back in its rightful place.”