17th/18th century. Cambridgeshire
Donated by the Cambridge Antiquarian Society, MAA 1883.831 and Z 40665
These two animal bones, perforated to tie onto the bottom of a shoe, have been polished by use as ice skates. Today we find icy weather makes travelling difficult, but this was not always so. In the days before good roads the principal routes were along rivers, but journeys required a boat or money to pay a boatman. When the Fen rivers froze people could easily travel long distances and at no cost, using skates made from animal bones, so that winter became a good time for visiting friends.