In the days of bear-baiting and cock-fighting, stocks and pillories were seen as excellent entertainment, although perhaps less so by those imprisoned in them. They were a free amusement for everyone, especially the lower social orders. Audience participation was positively encouraged by the authorities. And it was rare for stocks or pillories to remain unoccupied for long.

The entertainment value of stocks and pillories is still very much in evidence today. For example, if you visit a medieval banquet or an American renaissance faire, you can still see people in stocks and pillories. They may not be left there all day, but the delight of the crowd in tormenting the helpless victims has not diminished over the centuries.

These pictures depict stocks and pillories in use at fairs.

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The following photos were taken at historical re-enactments.

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Finally, having fun at medieval banquets.

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Last modified 3 June 2021.
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