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The fact that the stocks at Llangwyfan are the only ones remaining in North East Wales might come as something of a surprise, so firmly have they entered the public imagination.  Most communities would have had a set of stocks, situated in the most public place possible to punish low level criminality within the village.  It harkens back to a time when minor misdemeanours (which in the 21st century go by the flatulent term, ‘anti-social behaviour’), were not dealt with by a constabulary, if indeed a constabulary existed at all, but by the community itself, effectively keeping matters, ‘in house’.  Public humiliation was, of course, the critical aspect of this form of punishment, shame the powerful agent against re-offending.  While in the stocks, individuals could suffer a number of different punishments, from the obvious throwing of fruit and vegetables, to the rather more insidious tickling of feet.  


The lack of stocks in the North East Wales is probably due to no more than the fact that they were invariably made of wood and thus subject to rotting.  However, at Llangwyfan the stocks have had the wood replaced, so perhaps the villagers are expecting to bring them back into service in the near future.

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