Page:Horse shoes and horse shoeing.djvu/272
HORSE-SHOES AND HORSE-SHOEING.
two.' No mention is made of bones of horses, or other articles, being found with it, but the skeleton of a man was found at some little distance.
Mr Clark, who was somewhat of an enthusiast in the matter of shoes and shoeing, and appears to have lost no opportunity of examining old specimens, though he previously believed that this art was only introduced into Britain by the Normans, confesses these Silbury shoes to have been the oldest he ever saw or heard of, and appears to have been rather puzzled by them. In all likelihood, as he remarks, the animal to which they belonged had been buried with them, since the nails were present in them, as in many of the Gallic specimens, with the clenches quite perfect and in their flexed state, which would not have been possible had the shoe been torn off while the horse was alive. This veterinarian acknowledges the shoes as truly exhibiting an early period in the history of the art. 'Their mould or general form is neither broad nor heavy, as in the oldest French shoes we have ever seen, but they are rather what would be called a light shoe. In their upper surface (foot surface), flat, a little concaved, however, inwards, and at the inflections perfectly flat. The under surface of the shoe is rounded a little and convex, or rising in the middle, having in each of the quarters three immense deep oval or oblong stampholes or countersinks, as mechanics would call them, not very near to the outer rim of the shoe, and perforated through in the middle of these cavities, with three large, almost square, perforations; the size of these, which time and oxydation may perhaps have a little enlarged, gave abundant opportunity for the early artisan to direct his