Bone skates: 12th century

 
Bone skates: 12th century
4 0 c m
 
30cm
actual image size: 22cm x 32cm

Full image caption

Bone skates. Both bone skates are original but the leather handle is a recent addition. In 1173 William FitzStephen described how Londoners went skating on polished bone skates like this when the marsh known as the Moor, or Moorfields, on the north of the city froze in winter. "When the great marsh which washes the northern walls of the city freezes, crowds of young men go out to play on the ice. Some of them fit shinbones of cattle on their feet, tying them round their ankles. They take a stick with an iron spike in their hands and strike it regularly on the ice, and are carried along as fast as a flying bird or a bolt from a catapult".

Image Details

Date
 
1101 AD - 1200 AD
Image Number
 
000554

© Museum of London

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