Object Title

Chevaux de Frise

Chevaux de Frise



Object Number



Acquired from the Royal Artillery Museum (Rotunda), 1927; Rotunda inv. no. XXX.72 (formerly no. 7223). Deposited in the Rotunda by J. Hodgson Esq, of London, 1844 (Rotunda catalogues).

Physical Description

Of iron, it consists of six sharp iron spikes, four of which rotate on a pivot passing through their bases. These can be opened to form a cross. The remaining two spikes hinge outwards. The whole object can be folded so that the spikes hang parallel to each other. A small suspension ring is attached to the base ring has been broken off one of the spikes (cf. VII.1370).


Dimensions: Length of spikes: 514 mm (20.25 in) Weight: 9 lb 12 oz

Inscriptions and Marks

Split between the sides of the bases of three of the arms, Museum of Artillery (Rotunda) inv. no, stamped: picture of cannon over 'MA' '7223'.On one spike, stamped: 'WD' surmounted by a broad arrow (needs confirming, I could not immediately see it during examination in store, 23/05/1997, PJL).


Places France

Bibliographic References

uOfficial Catalogue of the Museum of Artillery in the Rotunda, Woolwich, London, 1874, p. 238, no. 7223.

Official Catalogue of the Museum of Artillery in the Rotunda, Woolwich, London, 1889, p. 270, no. XXX.72.


Very similar to VII.1370. According to the annotated 1916 Rotunda catalogue, three of these were originally acquired from the Rotunda (XXX.70-XXX.72) but XXX.71 was subsequently returned to the Rotunda.
In the Rotunda catalogues, this type of cheval de frise is said to have been 'invented and proposed for the protection of Infantry against sudden attacks of Cavalry by Maximillian Godfrey of France'.
In January 1835 a M. Bouglinval offered a defence against cavalry, called by him 'La Celestine', to the Board of Ordnance. The description is similar to this object. See P.R.O. W.O.44/621/71.
This object was found un-numbered in the Brick Tower 16/08/1993 by AK. As the identity of the object was not completely certain, it was given a new number, VII.3854. By reference to the IBE and the Rotunda catalogues, the object is certainly VII.137I and has reverted to its original number under this record (PJL, 22/05/1997).