Like all right thinking people I am horrified by the tactic adopted by some religious extremists to cut off the head of heretics with whom they have tiny differences over religious dogma. However I was curious as to the origin of this savage practice.

I asked my mates down at the local pub, The Saracen’s Head, and one came up with a ridiculous theory. He told me that during the Crusades English Christian Knights travelled to the Holy Land and beheaded anyone who would not convert to their Christian belief.

They would bring the severed heads home in their saddle bags. The dried and bloody skull, skin and scalp, hopefully still in one piece, would sell for a good price to be used on a stake as a pub sign. It can’t be true can it? And if it was what would they have named the pub?

Peter Frost, The Saracen’s Head, Towcester, Northants.

Letter to the Morning Star 7 July 2015


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