Dethick's 'cursed' Gibbet Stone makes surprise comeback

The Gibbet Stone
Image caption The Gibbet Stone may have supported a hangman's gallows

A "cursed" stone which mysteriously vanished from a village in Derbyshire has been returned.

The Gibbet Stone, which is thought to have supported a hangman's gallows or a cross during the 18th Century, disappeared from Dethick in February.

The 3ft (0.9m) wide stone was rediscovered about 750ft (228m) from its usual spot at the junction of Shaw Lane and Dethick Lane at the weekend.

Volunteers have now lifted it back into its original position.

Cultural heritage

In the past, villagers have speculated the stone is cursed because of the role it may have played in many executions.

Mike Wiser, chairman of Dethick, Lea and Holloway Parish Council, said police believed mechanical equipment was used to originally steal the stone.

He welcomed its return, adding: "It means a great deal for the people of Dethick because it's part of their cultural heritage.

"Perhaps whoever took it got cold feet or their conscience came into play.

"Now we need to find a way to make it more secure so it doesn't get stolen again."

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