THIS OBJECT IS PART OF THE PROJECT 'A HISTORY OF CORNWALL IN 100 OBJECTS'.
GERRANS HERITAGE CENTRE. This pair of ox shoes or cues was found at Tregaire Farm. Unlike horses, oxen have cloven hooves so their shoes had to be made in two pieces. From medieval times until horses and tractors replaced them, oxen were the main beast of burden on Cornish farms. Teams of up to eight oxen ploughed the fields, and pulled farm carts and hay wains (see example at Dairyland). A photograph of the 1920s shows oxen still ploughing at Bodrugan in Gorran parish, but in most places they were not much used after 1850.
The manor of Tregaire was 470 acres in extent and belonged to the Bishop of Exeter. Tregaire was important enough to have its own resident blacksmith. Also at the farm is a large stone with an iron ring attached to it where the oxen were tied up to be shod.
Photo: Bernie Pettersen