The Dog Collar Museum at Leeds Castle
The Dog Collar Museum
A unique collection of historic and fascinating dog collars has been built up over the years and is now the only one of its kind in Great Britain. Dogs have always been present at Leeds Castle: hounds for hunting, gundogs, huge mastiffs to guard the gates, and lap dogs to grace the apartments of widowed queens. Lady Baillie herself, always had several dogs and it is therefore fitting that Leeds Castle should be home to this unique Museum housed in The Gatehouse. In Lady Baillie’s time the museum was used as a squash court, having previously been a coach house.
Open all year round. Grounds open at 10am daily, Castle opens at 11am.
Last admission (April to October) 5pm
Last admission (November to March) 3pm
We regret no dogs can be admitted except for guide dogs or hearing dogs and that pushchairs are not permitted inside the Castle.
Closed only between the 16th and 18th September, 6th November and Christmas Day 2004.
Please see our website for admission prices
The Dog Collar Museum is fully accessible via the entrance on the right of the Museum. The Museum has notices in Braille beside some replica exhibits which may be handled by visitors. Braille leaflets which give a brief description of the Castle can be borrowed, on request, from staff in the Dog Collar Museum or the Heraldry Room.
Our collection of collars was most generously presented to the Leeds Castle Foundation by Mrs. Gertrude Hunt in memory of her husband, John Hunt, the distinguished medievalist. The collection of over 100 collars and related exhibits has since been added to and enhanced by the Foundation itself. Many of the early, broad iron collars bristling with fearsome spikes dating from the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries were designed to protect the vulnerable throats of hunting dogs against attacks from wolves, bears and wild boar which roamed the dark forests of Europe. Other exhibits display great artistic craftsmanship - the exuberant German and Austrian Baroque leather collars from the 17th and 18th centuries are often decorated with metalwork and velvet. These were mostly intended purely for decoration and identification.
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