The Monday Minstrel–Medieval!

On the weekend David and I visited Arundel Castle.  The original part of the castle was a Medieval Defensive Castle built up on a hill surveying the West Sussex countryside. I found some interesting and curious things relating to horses inside. Including a pair of gold spurs that belonged to a famous politician!


Note the stirrup irons!

The Fitzalan Howard family has lived in Arundel for many generations. The Fitzalan family crest has a rearing horse with an oak branch in its mouth. From the look of the feathers on this one it must have been a Shire or perhaps Clydesdale.5-img_7642

I also saw a rare 15th Century saddle. Does not look too comfortable to me!


In the Fitzalan Chapel there are stone effigies on some of the older tombs. I noticed that all of the men ( husbands) had their feet resting against the recumbent figures of horses. Sadly all the horses had lost their heads or noses over the years. So I chose to photograph them from the rear.  I do not know why all these figures had horses at their feet but clearly horses were important to the Fitzalan family.


Finally, a pair of gold spurs caught my eye! These were the dress spurs of Sir Winston Churchill!  Well….I have never seen a photo of Sir Winston on a horse. Did he actually ride or were these strictly ceremonial spurs? In any case they were used for his funeral and were then given to the Fitzalan Howard family.  Again a nod to the importance of horses in this family.


Arundel Castle seen through a window in the Fitzalan Chapel.



3 Comments Add yours

  1. athling2001 says:

    From what I remember from reading, Churchill did ride. Not sure how much. I found several pictures of him on or with a horse(s).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Apparently he played Polo at a championship level.


  2. anne leueen says:

    With regard to Sir Winston Churchill and horses a friend left me this comment on my ‘Horse Addict Leueen’ page on Facebook. “Churchill was a lover of animals, large and small, domestic and barn yard–and they, in turn, were attracted to him.
    Churchill’s first long lasting passion was horses. His days in the Cavalry made Churchill a championship calibre polo player. He competed into his fifties and continued to ride and own horses. He philosophized: ” No hour of life is lost that is spent in the saddle.”


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