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About this object

  • ID:


  • Production date:

    Late Medieval; late 14th century

  • Location:

    On Display: Museum of London: Medieval London: London Industry and Civic Authority: Leatherwork

  • Pointed medieval shoe known as a 'poulaine'. It has a latchet fastening (a leather strap split into two at the end, which goes through a pair of holes). The decoration of this shoe is divided by suede bands into rectangular panels of cross-hatching. Such decorated and pointed shoes would only have been afforded by the wealthy fashion-conscious sections of society. The site of Baynards Castle where this shoe was found was close to the Royal Wardrobe so some of the shoes uncovered there may have royal connections. Shoes with long points had to be stuffed with moss or hair to keep their shape. At the time, poulaines were condemned by some clergymen as 'claws of devils' and were the subject of many jokes due to their extreme appearance.

  • Measurements

    L 310 mm; W 70 mm; H 68 mm (combined)

  • Materials


  • Last Updated





    archaeological archive


    digital image copyright Museum of London


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