About this object

  • ID:


  • Production date:

    Late Medieval; late 14th century

  • Location:

    In Store

  • Shoes with long, pointed toes, known as 'poulaines', were fashionable in the late 1300s. Although virtually all shoes at this time were pointed to some degree, it is likely that only the more fashion-conscious members of society wore such extreme examples. The shoe is fastened by a latchet - a leather strap passed through a pair of holes. This is one of a large group of shoes recovered from archaeological excavations at Baynard's Castle on the north bank of the Thames. It is thought that the group was discarded from quite wealthy households, since few of the shoes had been repaired. Some may even have come from the Royal Wardrobe, which lay to the north of the site. The 1390s fashion for pointed-toed shoes revived in the mid 1400s. In 1465, a law was passed forbidding people to wear 'beaks or pikes of shoes or boots' over two inches 'upon pain of cursing by the clergy' and a fine of 20 shillings. Despite this law the fashion for long-toed shoes continued.

  • Measurements

    L 370 mm; W 107 mm

  • Materials


  • Last Updated





    archaeological archive


    digital image copyright Museum of London

  • Related place

    City of London


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