Spear Pie - History, pictures and recipies.

'Spear Pie'
We are restarting an old, lost tradition (last seen in 1970's) which dates back to the battle in 1066. A pie in the shape of a small boat with a 'spear' in it, was baked to represent the killing of the giant on the bridge. You can use the recipes here or create your own.

Was the pie made out of Game, Pigeons, Sparrows, pears or just meat?
The answer is we are not sure but we want to find out if possible and then produce our very own Stamford Bridge Pie.

Who knows, we could become as famous as Denby Dale or Melton Mowbray pies!!!

We are still collecting any information we can about this tradition which is unique. Please let us know if come across any other information.
Here are a few pictures and press cuttings. More will be added as/when it turns up.

Susan Lacy sent us this picture of her parents in 1960's, with her mums Spear Pie.

The Spear Pie Cup - Last won in 1975 by Dorothy Lacey

Dorothy and Ron May 2013

The trophy has been donated the Society to be presented to future winners.

Pie made recently by Chris Booth (see his recipe)

Recipe 1 - From Chris Booth

We had a taste of this at our meeting in May - it was delicious!!!!!
GAME& PEAR SPEAR PIE - A Modern Take on Spear Pie by Chris Booth
For The Hot Water Pastry:-
115 grms. plain flour
pinch salt
1 egg beaten (use 1/3rd. reserve rest to egg wash the pie)
50 mls. water
40 grms lard
Put flour, salt and egg into bowl roughly mix. Put water and lard into a small sauce pan heat together to boiling point, stir into flour mixture bring into a ball. Wrap in clingfilm andd rest at room temp. for 15-20 mins. before moulding into pie tin/mould.

For The Filling:-
100 grms. finely chopped game
75 grms. finely chopped belly port
Mix meat together and season with ground sea salt, black pepper, white pepper and ground mace.
1 Pear
Peel and chop pear into small pieces

For The Jelly:-
Gelatine desolved in some clear game or pork stock. Bring gelatine and stock to the boil in small sauce pan allow to cool a little before use.

Line a 15cm. pie tin/mould with 2/3rds. of the pastry. Add the meat mix and cover with chopped pear grate some nutmeg on top of the pears. Roll out remaining pastry to form a lid for the pie. Place lid on top seal edges with egg wash, crimp and trim edges. Roll out any left over pastry and mak the numbers "1066" and stick onto top of pie with egg wash. Make a 5mm. hole in the centre of the lid of the pie to allow the steam to escape. Egg wash the pie and bake in the centre of a pre-heated oven 180c/Gas Mark 4 for 1 hour. Allow to cool then 'jelly' the pie by pouring the warm gelatine/stock mixture through a small funnel placed in the hole in the centre of the pie. Place in a cool place to allow the jelly to set for about 3 hours then remove from tin/mould.
To present the pie make a small spear from some thin dowel. Place in the hole in the centre of the pie sharp end up!

Recipe 2 - from an old 'unknown' source

A recipe said to be as close to the original that Payne (1981) had researched i.e.
“A raised pie crust or hot water crust made with a pound of flour, six ounces of lard, a tea-spoon of salt and a quarter of a pint of water or milk and water. A pound and a half of savoury filling to be chosen.”

Recipe 3 - From Dorothy Lacey. (Similar to Recipe 2)

12 ounces of flour, 5-6 ounces of Lard, pinch of salt. 

Boil Lard in 4 ounces of water and mix in flour and salt.

Add filling of sausage meat.

Dorothy made a spear shaped pie.

***From Chris Rock***

Came across this piece of info whilst 'googling'...

Notes for Ilgerus de Wilberfoss:

There is a family tradition which would, if true, place Wilberfoss among the most genealogically distinguished families in England. The tradition is that the great grandfather of Ilger of Wilberfoss with whom the Visitation pedigrees begin, fought at the battle of Stamford Bridge, against Harold Hardrada, and then at the battle of Hastings under King Harold in 1066. At Hastings this ancestor is credited with having killed either Normans with his own sword, while at Stamford Bridge the tradition in the family is that he wielded the spear which thrust from below the bridge killed Harold Hardrada himself. The latter battle which was fought on the 25th September, 1066, was until quite recent times commemorated locally by what was known as Spear Pie Feast. This took place on the first Sunday after the 19th of the month and was marked by the baking of special cakes upon which was imprinted a representation of the spear which killed the defender of the bridge.It is worthy of remark that when Ilger received lands with Margaret the daughter of William de Kyme, in the dowry was included land which extended to the bridge at Stamford and which lies about four miles to the northward of Wilberfoss.