Object Title

Rowel spur

Rowel spur



Object Number



Purchased at Sotheby's, 27 February 1951, lot 132. From a private collector to whom it was presented by H.R.H. the Princess Royal, Dutchess of Argyle. This spur is by tradition said to have been found on the site of the battle of Flodden.

Physical Description

Rowel spur comprising slender slightly up-cuved neck with a six pointed rowl. Slender arms curved beneath the ankle bone each terminating in a single loop for the leather attachments. There is a prominent crest in the centre over the neck, which terminates in a small ball. The arms are decorated on either side with wyverns affronted, the tails terminating in animal's heads, set on a finely hatched ground. Heavily patinated overall.

Featured in

Hundred Years War



Rowel SpurLength173 mm
Rowel SpurWeight113 g
Rowel SpurWidth75 mm

Inscriptions and Marks



Places Europe

Bibliographic References

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

C. Paggiarino, The Royal Armouries, masterpieces of medieval and renaissance arms and armour, Milan, 2011, volume 1


This spur is said by tradition to have been found at the site of the battle of Flodden (1513), however, there is no evidence for this. 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.