Our four partner museums have chosen objects that tell stories of the region’s ‘wicked’ past – from grim and gruesome to strange and shocking! The objects will be displayed at each site in turn until October 2019.
The first of the Wicked Wessex objects to go on display at the museum, is our own Scold’s Bridle or Witch’s Bridle. This was used as a form of punishment for people suspected of witchcraft. It was placed over the head of the wearer and would stop them from being able to speak, or more importantly, cursing anyone.
This was never a legal punishment, but one of many examples of the horrible treatment of suspected witches in Salisbury.
- The first recorded use of a Scold’s Bridle was in Scotland in 1567 and there is evidence of one being used up until 1856
- Victims of the Scold’s Bridle were often led through the town for public humiliation
- Widow ‘Goody’ Orchard was found guilty of cursing a young girl and hanged in Salisbury
- The Cage and Ducking stool in Salisbury was placed next to what was effectively an open sewer at …..
- Anne Bodenham, also known as the Wiltshire Witch, was found guilty of poisoning and also hanged in Salisbury after an extensive trial
The Wicked Wessex Objects on Tour schedule is as follows:
20 October 2018 - 5 January 2019
Each museum will display its own Wicked Wessex object
19 January – 6 April 2019
Dorset County Museum – Bellarmine Witch Bottle from Wiltshire Museum
Poole Museum – Martyrs Maquette from Dorset CountyMuseum
The Salisbury Museum – Cat o’Nine Tails from Poole Museum
Wiltshire Museum – Scold’s Bridle from The Salisbury Museum
20 April – 6 July 2019
Dorset County Museum – Scold’s Bridle from The Salisbury Museum
Poole Museum – Bellarmine Witch Bottle from Wiltshire Museum
The Salisbury Museum – Martyrs Maquette from Dorset County Museum
Wiltshire Museum – Cat o’ Nine Tails from Poole Museum
20 July – 5 October 2019
Dorset County Museum – Cat o’Nine Tails from Poole Museum
Poole Museum – Scold’s Bridle from The Salisbury Museum
The Salisbury Museum – Bellarmine Witch Bottle from Wiltshire Museum
Wiltshire Museum – Martyrs Maquette from Dorset County Museum