The Black Prince

Who was The Black Prince?

Regarded as model of chivalry and one of the greatest knights of his age, Edward of Woodstock became the stuff of legends as the ‘Black Prince’.  This 14th century prince is well-known in English history and has been the inspiration for the naming of many pubs, buildings and of course, our narrowboat company!

The Black Prince

Born in Oxfordshire in 1330, Edward grew up as the quintessential medieval prince. The son of Kind Edward III, he was schooled in the duties of both a soldier and a knight from early childhood. He was instructed in the codes of chivalry and was an avid jouster and at just sixteen years old he won ‘his spurs’ (his knighthood) after leading his first successful battle at Crécy in northeast France in 1346

He is most famous for his victories against the French in the Hundred Years War, winning back towns and cities including a famous battle at Poitiers where he took the French King prisoner. Further honour was bestowed upon him when he was awarded the Most Noble Order of the Garter, the oldest European order of chivalry, and the third most prestigious honour after the George and Victoria Cross in England.

Edward died aged just 45 in 1376, just one year before his father so never ascended to the throne. He was buried in Canterbury Cathedral, where his surcoat, helmet, shield, and gauntlets are still preserved.

The nickname of the Black Prince is thought to derive from his coat of arms, consisting of three ostrich feathers on a black background which would have been visible at his jousting matches and on the battlefield. It’s thought that he also had a black shield and possibly black armour (although some think that it is more likely that the bronze armour of his effigy in Canterbury Cathedral turned black over time!).

The legend of the Black Prince is documented through history, mentioned in the works of Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and also showcased in films such as ‘A Knight’s Tale’.

Black Prince offers canal boat hire in seven locations in England, one in Scotland and one in Wales.

Each of these locations offers beautiful scenery, historical places to visit and some great attractions that will appeal to all the family. You can hire boats for a weekend break, a midweek break or a longer duration holiday, from a 7 night canal boat holiday to 21 nights.

Whatever you are looking for, we are sure you’ll find your perfect narrowboat holiday with Black Prince!


Take a look at our LOCATIONS page to start planning your narrowboat holiday.

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Or if you would like help planning your adventure then call on +44 (0)1527 575 115 and a Black Prince team member will be happy to help!