Yorkshire Tools of the Carriage Trade

Stables and Harness Rooms

It is hard to imagine transport in the Victorian era and prior. Journeys had to be taken on foot, horseback or coach. There were numerous types of coach, carriage, cart and waggons for 1,2 or 4 or more horses.  A brougham is a closed carriage usually driven by two horses. Landau, rig, chaise, buggy and stage coach were other types of  horse drawn transports. In addition to bits and bridles the following old items were useful for specific purposes

  • Breaking Snaffle or bit
  • Back pad used to hold the crupper
  • Light Curricle or shaft for a dog cart
  • Crupper for under the tail of a horse in harness and the breeching to go around the hind legs
  • Swingle trees – wood  links to balance the pull of a horse or horses on a carriage. Now wippletrees or wiffletress with metal linkages are used.
  • A postillion is a coachman riding on the nearside horse rather than on a box or seat.

Like many Yorkshire folk we have to make do with Shank’s Pony (use your own legs as a means of transportation).

Hackney carriages are still licensed to “ply for hire” i.e. pick up passengers on the street. The first hackney-carriage licences date from a 1662.

Picture credit carriages of English Regency.

Other information from Shibden Hall Folk Museum.





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