The darker side of West Berkshire’s history including notorious local crimes and gruesome punishments is being showcased in a special exhibition.
West Berkshire Museum is running ‘Crime and Punishment’, looking at some of the nefarious activities committed in the district from 1500 to 1914.
It looks at the history of the police force and the early methods of keeping order, as well as a range of different punishments such as the burning of the martyrs in 1556 and the hanging of murderers in the 19th century.
Some of West Berkshire’s more interesting historical crimes are also highlighted, including how the owner of Shaw House nearly caused a riot in 1907.
It will also feature an 18th century gibbet iron on loan from Reading Museum, and a prison door thought to have been recovered from Newbury’s old guildhall.
Museum curator Ruth Howard said: “We are thrilled to bring together these objects from other museums which have such strong local stories.
“The theme of the exhibition was inspired by the interest visitors showed in the town’s stocks, which are on display in our permanent exhibition.”