The Pillory consisted of hinged wooden boards that formed holes through which the head and hands were inserted; then the boards were locked together to secure the captive. Pillories were set up in public places, often with a sign detailing the crime.
As part of the punishment, crowds would often throw items like rotten food and heavy stones. With hands trapped, the victim could not avoid thrown objects which could result in blinding, permanent maiming or death. The criminal could also be sentenced to further punishments while in the pillory like whipping, branding, or ear torture!
The Pillory was used primarily to punish a person for lying in court or for convincing someone else to lie in court.