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The Murderous Millstones of Hope Bagot

There have been some strange murder trials throughout history, but they don't get much stranger than two stone blocks being charged with killing someone...

In 1292 a Miller named Valentine, from the hamlet of Hope Bagot in Shropshire, was crushed to death by his two mill stones.

According to the Rolls of that year, a trial was held and the stones were found guilty of causing his death! They were sentenced to become "deodand", the property of God, and so they were moved into position at the base of the local church tower, condemned to hold up this house of God forever.

The murderous mill stones are still there and doing a fine job, easily seen by visitors to this absolutely enchanting hidden hamlet.

There is a lot more to the Church of John the Baptist than meets the eye, much more, and I explore it in detail in my book Mysteries Of Mercia vol II, available at

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