Object Title

Rowel spur

Rowel spur



Object Number



Acquired 1958. From the collection of Charles R. Beard

Physical Description

Rowel spur made of copper alloy with a short neck and eight pointed rowel - one of the points broken. The arms are of flat section changing to triangular, curving downward beneath the level of the ankles and there is a short crest above the neck in the centre. One of the arms is broken, the other terminates in a double loop for the leather attachments. The neck, crest and upper part of the arms are decorated with an engraved pattern of stylised foliage, the lower part of the arms with a pointille design.

Featured in

Hundred Years War



Rowel SpurWeight70 g

Inscriptions and Marks



Places Europe

Bibliographic References

A.R. Dufty and W. Reid, European Armour in the Tower of London, 1968, plate CLXI.


It is possible this spur may have originally been gilded. From the later 12th century the placing of gilded spurs on the feet of a man was an important part of the ceremony of knighthood. However, by the late 14th century there were many complaints that ordinary 'mercenaries' who had not been knighted had taken to wearing them as a mark of fashion and wealth.