Thursday, 16 December 2010

Worth a visit

Leeds Castle, near Maidstone in Kent has a unique collection of antique dog collars spanning five centuries. Nearly 100 collars and related exhibits in the Leeds Castle Dog Collar Museum trace the history of canine neckwear from medieval to Victorian times. The museum delights more than 500,000 visitors from home and overseas every year.
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.


Winchester whisperer said...

At first glance, I thought they were bracelets

Eurodog said...

Yes, WW, I agree but bearing in mind that the common breed of dog at the time was a greyhound type, this is not suprising..