Bone ice skate, c 1200.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Skates like this, unearthed along with many others near Moorfields in London, were in use until the latter part of the 12th century. Speed was apparently obtained, not by a stroke of the skate, but by pushing with a piked staff. Specimens of this type of skate, dating back from 700 to 1000 AD, have also been discovered in Sweden. This example was made from the cannon bone of a horse.