Thursday, 16 December 2010
Worth a visit
Originally assembled by the Irish medieval scholar John Hunt and his wife Gertrude, who presented the collars to Leeds Castle in 1979 in memory of her husband, the collection has since been extended by the Leeds Castle Foundation.
The museum is also a tribute to the Castle’s last private owner, Olive, Lady Baillie, whose love of dogs inspired Gertrude Hunt to make the gift.
Many of the earlier collars dating from the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries were designed to protect the dog. It was a time when wolves, bears and wild boar roamed the forests of Europe and the vulnerable throats of hunting dogs were shielded by broad iron collars bristling with fearsome spikes.