South Holland District Council leader Lord Porter with Chain Bridge Forge Museum blacksmith David Baynes and the special horseshoe now hanging in Oakham Castle.

Porter’s horseshoe: Made in Spalding, hanging with royalty’s in Rutland

A symbolic horseshoe made in Spalding and bearing the name of South Holland District Council leader Gary Porter is now hanging on the walls of Oakham Castle to mark a celebratory event.

Lord Porter was special guest at the venue for Rutland 20, a series of events to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Rutland regaining its status as an independent county.

As part of an ancient tradition, members of royalty and peers of the realm are asked to present a horseshoe to the Lord of the Manor on their first visit to the castle. Over 240 horseshoes are hung on the castle’s walls, with the oldest dating back to Edward IV’s visit in 1470.

Lord Porter’s horseshoe was made at Chain Bridge Forge Museum in Spalding and bears the name “Baron Porter of Spalding CBE 2017”. The horseshoe also features three tulips, which are included in Lord Porter’s coat of arms as a South Holland connection.

Lord Porter said: “The horseshoe looks magnificent and it’s a unique honour to have one made for me. Sharing wall space with royals is quite a privilege too.

“We’re very fortunate to have a working museum like Chain Bridge Forge on our doorstep making living history like this, I’d like to thank them for their time and effort.” 

Geoff Taylor, from Chain Bridge Forge, said: “David Baynes, our blacksmith, enjoyed this unique challenge and is delighted to see it displayed in such prestigious surroundings.”

The forge is based in High Street and open on Wednesdays and Fridays from 10am until 2pm and Sundays 11am to 3pm.

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