18th Century Shoe Iron or Patten

Contributed by Nick Winter

18th Century Shoe Iron or Patten

This oval shoe iron or patten was riveted to a piece of wood which was then strapped to the underside of a shoe to raise it out of the mud or as some say to keep feet off a cold flagstone floor (they were banned from use in church at one time).

It was found during renovation of an old cotswold stone house in Badsey near Evesham on the topmost part of the outside wall just below the rafters. The fact that it is broken is significant. A broken shoe built into the fabric of a house was considered a charm against all manner of evil. Many houses of the period will have a similar charm hidden in their fabric somewhere.

One can imagine the state of paths and roads which necessitated the use of such footwear. We expect pavements and roads to be paved and swept clean nowadays. It was a very different world. A world where people worshiped in church, but superstition also held a powerful sway.

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  • 1. At 15:49 on 11 July 2010, Kenilworth History and Archaeology Society wrote:

    Jane Austen wrote in 'Persuasion': When Lady Russell was entering Bath on a wet afternoon, (about) the ceaseless clink of pattens, she made no complaint.

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