The Pillory in the Castle Ruins, Saffron Walden

The Pillory in the Castle Ruins, Saffron Walden

By the time Robins painted this scene, Walden Castle had been in ruins for nearly 200 years. Originally built in the twelfth century by Geoffrey de Mandeville, Earl of Essex, the castle suffered damage in the Civil War and was rebuilt in stone in the fourteenth century. By the eighteenth century, much of that stone had been removed for local building projects. The pillory, a common method of punishment and humiliation, probably dates from that time; its use was outlawed in England in 1837.