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".
© Museum of London