Many Systonians have probably heard of the Moody Bush Stone but have never seen it, as it is tucked away in a farmer‘s field off a Bronze age track now known as The Ridgemere, on the road from Syston towards South Croxton. This stone is thought to mark the spot where the Danish and Norman Court of ‘The Goscote Hundreds court’ met twice a year, where not only minor crimes but also disputes between tenants were tried and justice handed out, from Anglo Saxon times until the Middle Ages.
According to legend, it gave Syston its name (Sitestone in the Doomsday Book of 1086) but it is now thought that Syston is named after sixth century Angle Saxon called Sigehae and that ‘ton or tun’ was his homestead. It stands about 115cm or 45 inches above ground and 145cm or 57 inches around it. On one of the faces is carved ‘Moody Bush’ indicating that it was a meeting place. Moot is the old Danish word for meeting.
A curious custom was upheld before a trial at the Manorial Court of Sir John Danvers of Mountsorrel could commence. The Lord of the manor and his steward had to cut a piece of turf from the site and carry it to the court, as though the ground itself bestowed authority. This custom was carried out up to the beginning of the nineteenth century.