Author Archives: Katherine Kanne

What were medieval stables like?

In this post, Dr Kate Kanne details the Warhorse team trip to medieval stables.

In an effort to further understand how medieval and Tudor horses were husbanded and utilised, and as a good excuse to enjoy the glorious spring weather, the Warhorse team recently visited some of the earliest stables built in England that are still standing. Though largely post-medieval in date, the stables at Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire, and Dunster Castle, Somerset, can provide details to flesh out what the archaeological and historical records cannot. 

Prof Alan Outram and Prof Oliver (Ollie) Creighton were accompanied by myself, Helene Benkert (PhD student), and Tess Townend (MSc student). Alan and Ollie’s deep knowledge of medieval castles, horses, and their archaeology was augmented by our practical experience working with horses in a variety of equestrian disciplines in many kinds of stables. My professional equestrian background is primarily in polo, where large numbers of horses have to be fed, tacked, exercised and competed in sensible ways from a labour standpoint that respects the needs of equine athletes. I have co-authored educational materials for new horse owners on how to house and manage horses (Brady, Kanne, and Russell 2002a, 2002b). The organisation of medieval stables is familiar to modern equestrians that deal with how to best manage working horses used on a daily basis.

Kenilworth Castle was built as a Norman stronghold and modified over many centuries to form a spectacular residence (Fig. 1). The stables now standing (Fig. 2) were originally built by John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland and Master of the Horse of Edward VI, in 1553, at a cost of £4110, likely on the site of earlier stables. After John Dudley’s execution, his son Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, made additional improvements to the stables, also called Lord Leicester’s Stables. Like his father before him, Robert was the Master of Horse for the monarch, in this case Elizabeth I, with whom he had a special relationship. 

Kenilworth Castle and Tiltyard for jousting.

Fig. 1. Kenilworth Castle with the tiltyard for jousting in the foreground. Photo by Helene Benkert.

Kenilworth Stables

Fig. 2. Kenilworth Stables. Photo by Oliver Creighton.

Dunster Castle was constructed shortly after the Norman conquest by William de Mohun, initially as a fortress of earth and timber. The Luttrell family purchased the castle in 1376 and created the standing mansion in the early 17th century (Fig. 3). Stables are known from the 16th century, although the impressive example that can be seen at Dunster today was built in the 1660s, as confirmed by dendrochronological (tree-ring) analysis of oak beams that replaced those destroyed in the Civil War (Howard et al. 2003). Situated within a two-storey barn, the stalls date from the late 18th and early 19th century. In 1925, the Maharaja of Jodhpur visited Dunster Castle to play polo (Fig. 4), with a string of 62 ponies that were stabled there, with a groom for each pony. A video was made of the event (link here).

Dunster Castle

Fig. 3. Dunster Castle. Photo by Oliver Creighton.

Polo at Dunster Castle

Fig 4. Polo at Dunster Castle, Rao Rajah Manut Singh centre.

Tie, or standing, stalls were the norm until very recently for working horses around the world, including royal stables such as the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace (Figs. 5 and 6). They require less space than box stalls, with the typical rule-of-thumb being 4-5 ft wide x 9-10 ft long for average sized modern horses (15-15.2 hh) (Fehr et al. 1993), and require less labour to muck out each day. Bedding would have likely been straw, like at the 1920s Royal Mews below (Fig. 5). Tie stalls make much sense to house the riding horses on the castle grounds, both for residents and visitors. They still are used in polo and military stables as they are useful to ensure each horse receives the correct ration of feed for its workload and body condition, and are handy for horses that may be used every day, repeatedly throughout the day, or at a moment’s notice, quickly available for grooming and tacking up. 

Tie stalls at the Royal Mews, c. 1920s

Fig. 5. Tie stalls at the Royal Mews, c. 1920. Photo by The Royal Collections Trust.

Tie stalls at the Royal Mews today

Fig. 6. Tie stalls at Royal Mews Today. Photo by The Royal Collections Trust.

Horses generally can lie down in them despite that they are often termed ‘standing’ stalls. They can either stand facing the wall with a hay rack or manger along the wall, like at Dunster (Fig. 6), tied to the wall usually with a rope and weight pulley system, and/or be cross-tied after feeding at the front of the stall facing the aisle as shown in Figs. 5 and 6 above. Though horses can fight when stabled next to one and other, especially stallions, solid partitions, or half-solid/half-barred partitions, can be erected between them, as at the Royal Mews. Jordanus Rufus (13th century author of a horse treatise) describes that colts in training were stabled, hobbled, and tied to the manger on straw bedding. Another agricultural treatise by Pietro de Crescenzi (13th-14th century author) says there should be wooden partitions between horses to decrease fighting when stalled. Some of the incisors (front teeth) of horses from several of the castles covered by the Warhorse project’s zooarchaeological work show damage from regularly eating from a hard manger, cribbing (crib-biting), fighting between bars on adjacent stalls, or maybe even from repeatedly rubbing bars out of boredom (Fig. 7).

Hay rack and manger at Dunster Castle with gnawing damage

Fig. 7. Hay rack and feed manger at Dunster Castle, with some gnawing damage visible along the manger’s edge. Photo by Oliver Creighton.

Damaged lower incisors from Elverton, Westminster. Enamel is worn smooth on the front of the teeth

Fig. 8. Damaged lower incisors from Elverton, Westminster. Enamel is worn smooth on the front of the teeth. Photo by Kate Kanne.

Box stalls, or loose boxes, on the other hand, take double or more of the width of standing stalls, and are less efficient to muck and more costly in terms of bedding. The norm for many horses now, they allow more room for each horse to move and rest, including escape from difficult neighbours. They are better for foaling mares and mare-foal pairs, individualised veterinary care, and for horses that have limited turnout (time loose out of doors), though daily turnout is always best. Tie stalls are used now for horses that are brought in to feed and work each day, with ample turnout otherwise. Medieval horses were used daily for everything from transport to war, and had to be ready to go at a moment’s notice, especially those of the nobility. No one likes having to catch horses in a hurry in a field, as they may not feel the same pressure to comply with your demands!

The earliest historical record describes Kenilworth’s stables as 180 ft long by 21 ft wide in 1563, with 30 ‘rooms’ for great horses, and 20 rooms for geldings (Chirk Survey 1563). Given the size of the building as it stands today, about 49 m long by 10 m wide, these numbers can be accommodated in a number of configurations, but likely with mostly tie stalls, on both long walls, a few box stalls, and a wide aisle between (6 ft minimum is the modern standard, 10 ft is common – the one at Kenilworth could have been up to 12 ft wide). A hayloft and quarters on a second storey were also likely, with the team spotting what could have been used to drop down hay from the hay loft (Fig. 9). 

Possible hay drop at Kenilworth Stables

Fig. 9. Possible hay drop at Kenilworth Stables, Photo by Oliver Creighton.

A smaller, earlier 14/15th-century stable building was found under Kenilworth stables during excavations in 1970-84 (Howard et al. 2006). Robert Dudley shortened his father’s original stable, probably by one bay on the north end. During later excavations for the visitors’ centre at Kenilworth, evidence of the earlier building in the same area was also found, with the later medieval building similar in ground plan to the current standing structure, including a paved floor with drainage (Ellis 1995: 114). Based on this, Ellis concluded that the horses were kept in stalls facing the curtain wall and suggested that they would have potentially been 2 m wide to accommodate 25 stalls within the stable.  

At Dunster, much of the original configuration is still standing, with the portion that is occupied by the gift shop added later. It has a single row of tie stalls facing the wall with hay racks and mangers in place and a good visible drain (Fig. 10). There are different configurations of stone from where the horses stood to the aisle to increase drainage, and horse comfort. The floor at Kenilworth is currently stone, but a line of demarcation around the base of the interior may indicate that plank wood flooring was used there, which is known for other stables for royal horses.

Tie stalls with drain and cobblestones at Dunster Castle

Fig. 10. Tie stalls with drain and cobblestones at Dunster Castle. Photo by Oliver Creighton.

Historical accounts from the 14th-century list the number of horses that medieval castles could house, from six to 779(!) during battles (Colvin et al. 1963; Roberts 2002). Temporary stabling, or simply tying horses to quickly erected hitching posts, would be necessary for castles in the active throws of battle or siege. Kenilworth is the largest known stables, but comparable to those at other high-status sites of the 16th century, like those at New Hall, Essex, and at Reading, Berkshire (Colvin et al. 1982: 173, 221). 

Barnard Castle, Durham, with Saxon-17th century occupation, has had 6 different stables identified by archaeological and historical records, including 2 buildings in the Inner Ward and four in the Outer Ward (Little, Long, Palfrey, and Great). This corresponds well to the large number of horse bones reported at Barnard, especially in the later period (Austin 2007:590). Barnard Castle was also home to the royal herd of the Beauchamp stud. In 1325-1326, according to the records of the keepers of horse, and not including riding animals of the castle residents, the herd comprised two stallions, 35 mares and 50 colts and fillies under the age of two (Austin 2007:105-6). The multiple stables could suggest that the value, type, or utility of said horses would dictate where, or if, they were stabled, as breeding and youngstock were generally kept in the parks (on pasture). Potentially, there were different stables for the castle residents, visitors, breeding stallions, and/or foaling mares of the royal herd, or it may be that additional stables were added through the life of the castle as horse breeding increased at Barnard through time.  

What have we learned about medieval stables?

Medieval stables were well and purposefully built, matching and exceeding modern requirements of stall space per horse and aisle width. They appear to be designed for the working horses of the castles, and for those owned by visiting guests. Though generally built for the convenience of people, medieval stables also account for the comfort of horses. The builders of the stables at Kenilworth and Dunster were experienced horsemen; they kept in mind that the equine inhabitants were very valuable and necessary for daily life of medieval castles, and designed the stables as such.


Austin, D. 2007. Acts of Perception: A Study of Barnard Castle in Teesdale, Volume 1 and 2. Durham: The Architectural and Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland.

Brady, C. A., K. S. Kanne, and M. A. Russell. 2002a. Introduction to Housing for Horses. Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service.

—–. 2002b. Introduction to Horse Management. Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service.

Chirk Survey. 1563. Chirk Castle Ms F13310. National Library of Wales.

Colvin, H. M., Allen Brown, R., and A. J. Taylor. 1963. The History of the King’s Works, Volume 1 and 2: The Middle Ages. London: Her Majesty’s Stationary Office.

Ellis, P. 1995. The Elizabethan Gardens and Leicester’s Stables at Kenilworth Castle, Transactions of the Birmingham and Warwickshire Archaeological Society 99:81-116.

Fehr, R. L., Walker, J. N., Duncan, G. A., and W.E. Wise. 1993. Housing for Pleasure Horses. Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Services.

Howard, R. E., C. D. Litton, and A. J. Arnold. 2006. Tree-Ring Analysis of Timbers from Lord Leicester’s Stable, Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire. Research Department Report Series 21. London: English Heritage.

Where were the warhorses born?

An important part of the Warhorse Project is determining where the horses were born in order to reconstruct the movement of the horses throughout their lives. Key to this is stable isotope analysis, including strontium. In this blog post, we will introduce you to how the Warhorse team samples medieval horse teeth for strontium isotope analysis.

Strontium isotopes (87Sr/86Sr) can provide the location of birth in animals, including people and horses, as well as their mobility in life. As tooth enamel is formed during childhood when animals eat or drink, it records this chemical isotope from the local bedrock. This bedrock varies throughout the UK, giving us various ranges of 87Sr/86Sr, as seen below.

Map of strontium isotopic variation across the United Kingdom from Evans et al. (2010:2, Fig. 1b).

Map of strontium isotopic variation across the United Kingdom from Evans et al. (2010:2, Fig. 1b).

We take samples from horse teeth to compare to these ranges to determine where they were born within, or even outside of, the UK. The process involves the following steps, shown here with the Elverton Street horses from the Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA).

Step 1: Choose teeth from different individuals and different archaeological contexts throughout a particular archaeological site. The goal is to get an understanding of the place of birth and life histories of as many horses as possible.

Step 2: Take photographs and measurements to record the teeth before sampling, as it is a destructive method. Each sampled tooth is assigned an ID number. This is a lower (mandibular) 3rd molar from a horse that is approximately 9-10 years old, ID ELV2.

Horse tooth from Elverton prior to sampling.

Horse tooth from Elverton prior to sampling.

Step 2: Cut strips of enamel from the horse molars. We use the 2nd and 3rd molars for this. Dremels with thin, precision drill bits are used for this process.

Warhorse team member, Tess Townend, cutting strips of horse teeth with enamel in the isotope prep lab.

Warhorse team member, Tess Townend, cutting strips of horse teeth with enamel in the isotope prep lab.

Step 3: Photograph again to make sure we know which strips belong to which tooth (and which individual and context).

Horse tooth sample ELV2 after strip is cut.

Horse tooth sample ELV2 after strip is cut.

Step 4: Label, draw, and measure the tooth and the resultant strips.

Tess recording the measurements and making the drawings of the sampled teeth and strips.

Tess recording the measurements and making the drawings of the sampled teeth and strips.

Steps 5 & 6: Glue strips of enamel to paper in a ring shape, and draw a map of which teeth are where in the ring. The map is critical to be able to match the strontium isotope ratio to the particular horse.

Tess placing and mapping the strips of horse teeth.

Tess placing and mapping the strips of horse teeth.

Step 7: Fill the ring with the strips of teeth. The teeth have to fit inside the ring in order to fit in the mass spectrometer which measures the strontium.

Sampled strips of horse teeth in plastic ring.

Sampled strips of horse teeth in plastic ring.

Step 8: Pour a two-part epoxy resin over the strips, and leave to harden overnight.

Tess pouring a two-part epoxy resin over the strips of horse teeth.

Tess pouring a two-part epoxy resin over the strips of horse teeth.

Step 9: End up with a hardened resin disc with the strips of teeth in it. We have teeth from 17 different horses in two discs!

Resin disc with sampled strips of horse teeth.

Resin disc with sampled strips of horse teeth.

Step 10: Photograph the disc again to produce a final map.

Map of sampled teeth for strontium isotope analysis.

Map of sampled teeth for strontium isotope analysis.

After the teeth are sampled and prepared, Dr Alex Pryor, archaeologist and University of Exeter isotope specialist, will be undertaking the analysis using Laser Ablation Multi-Collector Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-MC-ICPMS) located in the Plasma Mass Spectrometer Laboratory, National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton, UK. Once he has finished this analysis, Dr Pryor will help the Warhorse team interpret the results to gain an understanding of where the horses in the project were born and may have traveled during their lives.


Evans, J. A., Montgomery, J., Wildman, G. & Boulton, N. 2010. Spatial variations in biosphere 87Sr/86Sr in Britain. Journal of Geological Society, London 167:1–4.



Pony Power!

I am Kate Kanne, a new postdoctoral research fellow for the Warhorse Project. Outside of Warhorse, my research is on early equestrianism in the European Bronze Age, and on the long-term evolution of human-horse relationships. I am thrilled to be joining this exceptional interdisciplinary team, and learning cutting-edge methods in horse archaeology to tell the story of people and horses through time. One of my first outings as a team member, was with Warhorse PhDs, Helene Benkert and Camille Mai Lan Vo Van Qui to the Dartmoor pony auction in Chagford. We were curious how these ponies were managed on these local landscapes, and how their long presence related to medieval warhorses.

Horses, and in this case proper ponies, carry in their DNA and life histories fascinating stories of human and horse history. I had never guessed when considering the Dartmoor ponies, that their story would contain everything from ancient and medieval horses, the birth of the modern polo pony, contemporary human-horse relationships, and efforts at maintaining biodiversity for the future.

A family vacation to Devon in my adolescence gave me my first wondrous experience of horses in this incredible landscape, riding at full gallop on the moors with great glee. From these memories, when going to this year’s ‘drift’ Dartmoor pony auction at Chagford, I had expected to see a sea of dark bay/brown ponies of relatively similar stature. I couldn’t have been more wrong! I confused them with Exmoor ponies who are bay, brown on dun, with black points. Welcomed by a cacophony of coat colours, and a wide variety of sizes from wee to stout, the Dartmoor ponies reflect their long history, as well as the human proclivity for valuing eye-catching coat colours, those of which also bring a higher auction premium (Figures 1, 2, & 3).

Colourful Ponies at the Chagford Auction

Colourful Ponies at the Chagford Auction

Colourful Ponies at the Chagford Auction

Figures 1. 2. & 3. Colourful Dartmoor Ponies at the Chagford Pony Auction (Figure 1 & 2 photos by Helene Benkert).

Figure 4. Wee Dartmoor Pony at the Chagford Pony Auction.

Black Dartmoor Hill Pony Stallion with Moustache!

Figure 5. Black Dartmoor Pony Stallion with Moustache!

I was also surprised to learn that the herds of free-roaming ponies are all owned, with the owners (Registered Commoners) allowed to graze their herds on the Commons (Figure 6).

Dartmoor Ponies on the Moor

Figure 6. Ponies grazing on Dartmoor Commons (Wikimedia Commons, Andrew Rendell CC-BY-2.0))

For those less familiar with British law, Common Land is privately owned with ‘Rights of Common’ for land used most often to graze livestock. Enshrined in the Charter of the Forest in 1217, in pushback against rights of access to the royal forest for free men eroded by William the Conqueror and his heirs, the Commons were designed to sustain poor rural farmers who did not own their own land with access to pasture, wood, and other resources. Now, over one-third of England’s moorland is common land, 3% of land in England, and includes famous landscapes in Dartmoor National Park, the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and Shropshire Hills (Dartmoor Commoners’ Council) (Figure 7).

Common Land on Dartmoor

Figure 7. Common land on Dartmoor National Park (Dartmoor Commoners’ Council).

From the Dartmoor Hill Pony Owner’s Club, we learn that, “A Dartmoor Hill Pony is one bred on the Commons of Dartmoor by a Registered Commoner, whose sire and dam run on the said commons. This ensures that the sire has been inspected and approved by the Dartmoor Commoners Council as a suitable stallion to run on the Commons”. Current estimates suggest there are around 1100 mares producing roughly 900 foals per year. The ponies are rounded up from the multiple Commons in Dartmoor annually in October. They are then counted, checked, with some sold at the traditional pony Drift Sale in Chagford, Devon, held by the Dartmoor Hill Pony Association, with volunteers of Friends of the Dartmoor Hill Pony charity, overseen by Moorgate Vets, and facilitated by Rendells Auctioneers (Fig. 8).

Chagford Drift Pony Auction

Figure 8. Chagford Drift Pony Auction.

The drift auction originally was a method by which illegally grazing or unowned animals would be auctioned in the Forest of Dartmoor. Now it serves to keep the ponies at a manageable number for their owners and the moors, and provides farmers with an additional form of income. The value of the Dartmoor ponies lies in their use as excellent, sure-footed, and hardy riding or driving ponies, as well as a keystone conservation management species (Figure 9).

Dartmoor Ponies Conservation Grazing

Figure 9. Dartmoor ponies conservation grazing at The Garrison, St. Mary’s. They were introduced to to restore Scilly’s maritime heathland (Bob Embleton / Conservation Grazing The Garrison, St. Mary’s / CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Dartmoor ponies represent the decedents of the earliest domesticated horses in England, attested to from the Bronze Age (Bendrey 2012) (Fig. 10).

 Dartmoor Pony at Bronze Age Archaeological Site

Figure 10. Ponies on Dartmoor at a Bronze Age archaeological site (© Charlotte Faulkner in Packham 2020).

At Shaugh Prior in South Dartmoor, pony hoof prints were found in association with cattle and sheep hoof prints, dated to the Bronze Age, approximately 1500-1350 BC (Fig. 11).

Pony, cattle, and sheep hoof prints under excavation on Shaugh Prior, South Dartmoor

Figure 11. Pony, sheep, and cattle hoofprints under excavation on Shaugh Prior (© Ossiie Palmer in Packham 2020).

Many different types of horses were brought to the British Isles in subsequent periods, breeding with the initial stock that became supremely adapted to life on the moors. Horses became increasingly important for battle in the Iron Age and Roman period as mounts, and famously as chariot horses. The quality of these smaller ponies was noticed by the Romans, who took them back to Italy to improve their native stock (Trew 1953). Ponies are well known archaeologically throughout the Early Middle Ages, into the Late Anglo-Saxon / Early Tudor period of the Warhorse project and beyond. Withers height indicates that horses from the Saxon and Norman periods (5th–12th centuries) were ponies by modern standards, less than 14.2 hh or 1.48 m, generally averaging 12.3-13.2 hh (Ameen et al. 2021).

The first historical record of herds of free-roaming ponies in England is from the will of the Merican thane Wulfric, who in 1002 decreed “’…I leave to the monastery at Burton one hundred wild horses and sixteen broken stallions…” (Dent and Goodall 1968:53) (Figure 12).

Figure 12. An 18th pencil drawing of the stained glass window at Hall Hill, Abbots Bromley, Staffordshire, England, showing the Anglo-Saxon nobleman Wulfric Spot (died c.1004) (Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain).

Shortly thereafter, the Saxon “Ælfwold, Bishop of Crediton, in 1012, bequeathed ‘to every man of my household his mount which I have leant him… Aelfwold also left a stud of ‘wild horses’ running on the Buckland estates near Dartmoor, besides ten individual bequests of saddle-horses, and to his lord the heriot of four horses with armour…” (ibid). In the Domesday Book from 1086, held at the Exeter cathedral, in the owned property survey of the UK conducted for William the Conqueror to calculate tax, the wild ponies are discussed, but there was some uncertainty if they should be taxed at all due to the fact that they were semi-wild, but owned herds and the right to graze them on Dartmoor was already in place. Clearly there would have been an awareness of the herds by the those producing horses for medieval cavalries, as well as the rulers themselves.

Henry VII directed the improvement of native stock for his warhorse retinue in 1535, requiring by law that mares should be bred with stallions that were 14 hands or greater, or the owner be fined 40 shillings. His disparaging remarks deemed the ponies of Dartmoor ‘little horses and nags of a small stature’ and a ‘vile and paltry breed’.” However, given the remoteness of Dartmoor, Henry’s policies were likely not enforced. By the 16th century, ponies of all colours and sizes were recorded.

The ponies were used extensively use as pack horses, and in the tin mines, as well as an “all-rounder” for riding and driving. In 1855, polo came to Britain from India significantly affecting pony breeding. By the 1860s, under the influence of the Prince of Wales, systematic efforts were undertaken to ‘improve’ ponies from the Dartmoor herds with outcrossing with Thoroughbreds Arabians, Hackneys, Welsh, and Fell horses to produce an ideal sport pony. Dartmoor ponies were foundational to the formation of the Polo Pony Stud Book in 1899 (Fig. 13). A famous polo pony named “The Leat” was purchased by Miss Calmady Hamlyn in 1925, the by an Arabian stallion, out of a Dartmoor pony x Hackney mare (Friends of the Dartmoor Hill Pony). “The Leat” was the first pedigree Dartmoor Pony (Hendricks 2007). In 1899, The Dartmoor Stud Book was started as a section of the Polo Pony Stud Book, becoming a separate entity in 1925 for registered Dartmoor Ponies.

Polo Pony Stud Book, made possible by Dartmoor Hill Ponies

Figure 13. The Polo Pony Stud Book, made possible by the Dartmoor Ponies.

Dartmoor ponies continued to live semi-wild on the moor at the same time, refusing efforts to conform with the fashionable breeding of the early 20th century. They remain genetically distinct from their registered counterparts, with key signatures that can be used to distinguish them, as well as signs of genetic selection potentially linked to environmental adaptation (Hegarty et al. 2017). Now preserved for their heritage value, as well as their key contribution to biodiversity, the Dartmoor ponies continue to provide enjoyment on and off the moors, through their use in riding and driving, as companions, or as conservation grazers.

The story of the Dartmoor ponies is the story of horses in England. In them we see the relationships of horses and people to the land and place, the negotiations of commoners with, and resistance to, people in power, the centuries long traditions of families working together in local practices of breeding and management, and the recognition of the vital place of the Dartmoor ponies in the past, present, and future of Dartmoor and its people.


Ameen, C., Benkert, H., Fraser, T., Gordon, R., Holmes, M., Johnson, W., Lauritsen, M., Maltby, M., Rapp, K., Townend, T., Baker, G. P., Jones, L. M., Vo Van Qui, C., Webley, R., Liddiard, R., Sykes, N., Creighton, O. H., Thomas, R., & Outram, A. K. 2021. In search of the ‘great horse’: A zooarchaeological assessment of horses from England (AD 300–1650). International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, 111.

Bendrey, Robin. 2012. From wild horses to domestic horses: a European perspective. World Archaeology 44(1):135-157.

Dent, A.A., and Daphne Machin Goodall. 1968. A History of British Native Ponies: From the Bronze Age to the Present Day. London: J.A. Allen.

Green, Peter. 2016. The free-living ponies within the Exmoor National Park: their status, welfare and future. A Report to the Exmoor Moorland Landscape Partnership.

Hegarty, Matt, Nicola McElhinney, Emily Ham, Charly Morgan, Clare Winton and Rob McMahon. 2017. An evaluation of the genetic relationships between the Hill Dartmoor and the registered Dartmoor Pony Breed. Report prepared for the Friends of the Dartmoor Hill Pony. Aberystwyth University.

Hendricks, Bonnie. L. 2007. International Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press.

Packham, Chris. 2020. A Keystone Species: The Dartmoor Hill Pony. Springwatch. Photos from: Bronze Age Hoofprints © Ossiie Palmer; Ponies at Bronze Age settlement © Charlotte Faulkner.

Trew, Cecil G. 1953. The horse through the ages. London: Methuen.