Historic Murder Stone destroyed during accident

The damaged Murder Stone.

An historic roadside stone that commemorates a murdered farmer has been destroyed in an accident.

Nichol’s Stone – known locally as the Murder Stone – stood beside the A684 near Akebar, between Leyburn and Bedale.

The stone – now classed as a Grade II listed building – was erected by the widow of farmer Nicolas Carter in 1826.

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The stone is inscribed with the message: “May 19, 1826, Do No Murder”.

Mr Carter was mugged and murdered as he returned from market in Leyburn after selling some cattle.

Another view of the damaged stone.

The killer, farm labourer Leonard Wilkinson, 22, left evidence at the scene and was soon arrested.

While he pleaded not guilty to murder, it took a jury in York just 11 minutes to convict him.

He was hung, drawn and quartered and his remains buried outside nearby Finghall Church.

The damage was discovered by local farmer Peter Fall, who believes it was done on Thursday in the snow.

Mr Fall said he was devastated that the stone had been damaged

He added: “It’s been part of my whole life

“It was special to me because my farmer Grazing Nook was mentioned in the trial in 1826 as the first person to find the victim came here for help.

“What’s so annoying is that it appears to have been demolished  not by the accident, but by retrieving the vehicle.”


1 Comment

  1. This is a shame. It has been there since 1826 when, according to an old newspaper report it was erected by Mr. Wyville, J.P. of Constable Burton Hall, a local magistrate who personally apprehended Leonard Wilkinson. I researched this crime several years ago and Leonard Wilkinson was hanged but certainly NOT drawn & quartered and was buried in York, not Finghall. Just hope it may be possible for it to be put back together and perhaps the inscription re-carved?

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