10. Horse Power

The cart and canal horses of London

Life size model horse in stable

Horses were the mainstay of the canals from their construction until well into the 20th Century. They were also used to pull the ice carts from the building and this floor was a stables where the horses spent the night. If you look carefully you'll be able to see the evidence that the loft was used for their hay. Our exhibition Horse Power tells the story of London's working horses in the Victorian period and early 20th Century. Our horse stall is a reconstruction of one of the original stalls that were built in the building in 1904-6. The exhibition includes displays of veterinary and horse care artefacts, and some of the tools of the farrier who fitted shoes to the horse's hooves. We have original harness on show including a canal bobbin trace. There are exhibition panels telling the story of the working horse on London's streets and canals, and an additional counter top "flip book" which offers more detail for those with an appetite for more.