Object Details

Jacob's Post

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Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright for Photograph:

Creative Commons

Location

Street:Ditchling Road (B2112)
Town:Ditchling Common
Parish:Ditchling
Council:Lewes District Council
County:East Sussex
Postcode:RH15
Location on Google Map
Object setting:Public Park
and in:Road or Wayside
Access is:Public
Location note:Path leading from gate next to The Royal Oak pub.
In the AZ book:East Sussex
Page:68
Grid reference:G4
The A-Z books used are A-Z East Sussex and A-Z West Sussex (Editions 1A 2005). Geographers' A-Z Map Company Ltd. Sevenoaks.
OS Reference:TQ337181

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Makers

Name : Unknown

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General Information

Construction period:End of 19th century
Installation date:1890 ca.
Work is:Extant
Owner custodian:Ditchling Parish Council
Object listing:Not listed
Description:A simple wooden post with the metal figure of a rooster sitting on top. An information board is sited next to the post.
Inscription:West side of the post, metal plaque:

Jacob's Post
This post was erected at the end of the 19th
century to mark the site of the old gallows where
the body of Jacob Harris was hung following his
execution for murder in 1734. The rooster is a
copy made by the pupils of Uckfield Comprehensive
School. The original is in the guardianship of
Ditchling Parish Council and may be seen at
Chichester House, Ditchling.

East Sussex County Council

Cut out letters in the centre of the rooster:

1734

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Classification

Categories:Animal, Free Standing, Commemorative
Object type1:Marker
     Object subtype1:Commemorative Post
Subject type1:Figurative

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Object Parts

Part 1:Rooster
     Material:Painted metal
     Height (cm):65
     Width (cm):40
     Depth (cm):0.5
Part 2:Post
     Material:Wood
     Height (cm):190
     Width (cm):10
     Depth (cm):10

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Object Condition

Overall condition:Fair
Risk assessment:At risk
Condition 1 of type:Structural
     Condition 1: Loose elements
     More details:The whole structure is easily movable in the ground.
Condition 2 of type:Surface
     Condition 1: Corrosion, Deterioration
     More details:Severe weather-wearing to the post and some corrosion to the rooster.
Date of on-site inspection:18/09/2007

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History

History:On 26 May 1734, in the parish of Wivelsfield, Jacob Harris, a Jewish pedlar (also known as Yacob Hirsch), committed three barbarous murders at the public house at the north end of Ditchling Common (now the Royal Oak). He killed the landlord of the pub, Richard Miles, his wife and their maid. He is alledged to have stolen some money and clothes and fled to the Cat Inn, Turners Hill. Pursued by soldiers he hid up a chimney at Selsfield House, West Hoathly, but was discovered. Miles, before he died was able to identify the pedlar and he was incarcerated in Horsham Gaol. He was subsequently tried and executed and afterwards hung in chains on Ditchling Common close to the scene of the murders. A ballad was composed, sold and sung at the execution. Jacob's Post is the remains of the gibbet. Afterwards, and well into the 19th century, a fragment of this post carried in the pocket, was considered a cure for toothache and epilepsy. It was also said that women who were barren went to the corpse when still hung at Ditchling and after holding its hand would become fertile. A piece of the original post is on display at the Royal Oak Inn; the pub sign carries the subtitle 'Jacob's Post'.
Hard archive file:Yes

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References


Further information:
http://royaloakinn1.food.officelive.com/Jacobspost.aspx

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Photographs





Date: 18/09/2007
Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Date: 18/09/2007
Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Date: 18/09/2007
Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Date: 18/09/2007
Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons

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