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    Caxton Gibbet McDonald’s

    Initial preparation for the concrete, with our van and the gibbet in the background

    Initial preparation, with our van and the gibbet in the background

    With Halloween coming up, we thought we would tell you about an installation we did last month near Caxton, and of the gruesome legends that are associated with it.

    Caxton is a small village 9 miles west of Cambridge. It is best known for being the site of an infamous gibbet. A gibbet is any instrument of public execution, but the term gibbeting, which Caxton is known for, refers to the use of a gallows-type structure from which the dead or dying bodies of executed criminals were hung on public display. There are tales of people being gibbeted in Caxton in the 1670’s, and there are court case records of the gibbet still being there in 1745.

    There are many tales of the people that have died on the gibbet, the most famous involving the robbery and murder of a family named Partridge. The murderer escaped abroad, but returned some years later. Whilst in a local pub, the inebriated man boasted how he fled authorities after poaching some partridges. The pub’s landlord thought he was referring to the murders and called the police. He was arrested and later sentenced to be hung from a cage on the gibbet till he starved to death. A variation on the story tells how a local baker took pity on the caged man and gave him some bread, for which he was arrested and sentenced to the same fate.

    The gibbet in a photo from 1900

    The photo of the gibbet circa 1900

    The current gibbet is a replica, thought to have been constructed from the timbers of a nearby cottage, and is seen in the photo above from around 1900. It stands at a crossroads about a mile and a half from Caxton, and is right next to the site of a new McDonald’s restaurant. Complete Driveway Designs were commisioned to install the pattern imprinted concrete for the drive-thru, based on similar work we have done in other parts of the country.

    Click the link below to see the Wikipedia article on Caxton Gibbet, which includes a reference to the new restaurant.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caxton_Gibbet

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