The Dacre beasts

The Dacre beasts on display at the V & A

Not royal but impressive none-the-less standing at 6ft tall. Thomas Lord Dacre fought at Bosworth. Fortunately for him he backed Henry Tudor. Three years later he eloped with the heiress Elizabeth Greystoke. Think I might want to do a bit more research about that – one person’s elopement is another person’s kidnap and abduction of an heiress. Anyway, Henry VII didn’t seem bothered about the abrupt nature of the union and in 1503 Thomas was knighted. Henry VIII made him a knight of the garter after the Battle of Flodden.

Dacre died in 1525 and the Dacre beasts were used for his funeral. All four of the animals were carved from a single piece of oak and its speculated that they were created before 1525 for a tournament of some description. They avoided disaster in 1844 when Naworth Castle went up in flames.

The creatures are the so-called Dolphin of Greystoke; a ram which is probably the Multon lamb; the red bull of Dacre and the de Faux griffon.

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