Our latest Curiosity of the Week is a rather gruesome landmark in Northumberland. Steng Cross Gibbet can be found on a mound beside the B6342, near Elsdon.
This unusual landmark is also known as Winter’s Gibbet, named after murderer William Winter whose body was suspended in chains from a gibbet until it rotted away.
Winter was hanged in 1791 for the murder of an old woman whom he believed to be rich. After being hanged in Newcastle, Winter’s body was left on the gibbet as a stark warning to would-be criminals.
The original 18th century gibbet has long since gone, but the replica that people can see today serves as a reminder of the area’s grisly past. The replica once had a whole wooden body suspended from it, but after drunken misuse and pranks over the years, only the head now remains.
The landmark stands in a suitably haunting position, surrounded by hills and moorland, resulting in many visitors believing to have witnessed ghostly apparitions.
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