Hugh Beavin

A brooding presence

Croft Hill is now the site of a massive quarrying operation but in the past it played a far more significant role in the history of the area.

Many centuries ago it was said to be a meeting place for the shadowy druids, and by the time of the Saxons its dominant position overlooking the surrounding countryside had ensured its pre-eminence as a moot site (or meeting place).

In 836 Wiglay, King of Mercia, held a council at Croft Hill attended by the Archbishop of Canterbury and 11 other bishops, as well as important landowners throughout the realm.

But three centuries later a much darker deed took place at Croft Hill that gave it a far more sinister reputation.

For in December 1124 a trial took place there that resulted in some gruesome punishment being meted out to the hapless prisoners:

44 men were hanged, while six more had their eyes gouged out and their testicles cut off.

Author: Hugh Beavin

Written for: Hinckley-on-line