What to See in England
By Gordon Home
Public Domain Books
Walton-On-Thames (scold’s Bridle)
=How to get there.=–Train from Waterloo. L. and S.W. Railway. =Nearest Station.=–Walton. =Distance from London.=–17 miles. =Average Time.=–3/4 hour.
1st 2nd 3rd =Fares.=–Single 2s. 10d. 1s. 10d. 1s. 5d. Return 4s. 0d. 3s. 0d. 2s. 6d.
=Accommodation Obtainable.=–"Ashley” at station; “Swan,” on the river; “Duke’s Head,” in the town, etc.
Walton-on-Thames is a little riverside town, very much surrounded by modern villas. The church contains in a glass case in the vestry a “scold’s bridle.” This rusty iron contrivance is one of the few specimens of this mediaeval instrument of torture to be seen in this country, and it is certainly the nearest to London.
In Elizabethan times a “scold” was looked upon in much the same light as a witch, and this bridle was applied to those women who obtained for themselves the undesirable reputation.
[Illustration: THE GARDEN FRONT OF HAM HOUSE.]
[Illustration: THE SCOLD’S BRIDLE IN WALTON-ON-THAMES CHURCH.
“Chester presents Walton with a bridle To curb women’s tongues when they are idle."]