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!
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.
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.