This month’s ‘Castle Object of the Month’ is the pair of postilion’s boots found in the entrance hall of Hever Castle.
The large leather and iron postilion’s boots date from 1690. A postilion was a man who rode one of a pair of horses that pulled a coach. It could be very dangerous if a leg became caught between the two horses, so each postilion wore one boot on that leg to protect himself from injury.
Postilion riders usually rode the left horse of a pair and this style of travel was known as ‘posting’.
Before the days of railways posting was the best method of travelling in England and on the Continent.
Travellers would hire a private carriage from a postmaster. In England the postmasters were usually hotel keepers, and not employed by the Government. The carriage would travel from one posthouse to the next, where the postilions and/or horses could be replaced if necessary. Ordinarily a carriage was only taken on the main road, from one station to another. However, arrangements could be made to go off of the main road to a country house.
Find out more interesting information about the history of Hever Castle on the visit section of our website.