Object of the Month for December: The ‘Writhen Hilt’ Sword

In this monthly blog series, our collections team write about their Object of the Month, chosen from our collection. In this blog post, Assistant Curator Scot Hurst traces the fascinating history of the Writhen Hilt sword, from the hands of two of the world’s most prodigious collectors of art and antiques to the silver screen.  It would be impossible to even begin writing about this hand-and-a-half sword without addressing the obvious talking point. Our eye is instantly drawn to the beautiful, almostRead more

The Development of the 1907 Pattern Bayonet for the Short, Magazine Lee Enfield Rifle

The evolution of the 1907 Pattern bayonet was not a single-step event and some wonderful rarities appeared in the process. In this blog post, Peter Smithurst, Curator Emeritus at the Royal Armouries traces the development of the 1907 Pattern bayonet. A need for reach By the early years of the 20th century, experience had shown that the days of long rifles were effectively over and something shorter and “handier” than the “Long Lee” was needed. The result was the Rifle, Short,Read more

Object of the Month for November: Lloyd’s Patriotic Fund Sword of James Edward Bowen

In this monthly blog series, our collections team write about their Object of the Month, chosen from our collection. In this month’s blog, Edward Chapman, Archives and Records Assistant, uncovers a sword in the collection with an interesting history. Lloyd’s Patriotic Fund was established on 28 July 1803 by a group of merchants and insurance brokers and is one of the oldest surviving armed services charities in the world. Named after Lloyd’s Coffee House in London, the fund aimed to provide grantsRead more

10 Grizzly and Ghoulish Objects in Our Collection | Halloween Special

With Halloween only a few days away, we uncover some of the more ghoulish items in the Royal Armouries collection, including instruments of torture and punishment, relics of fearsome ancient folklore and macabre depictions of tales most horrid.  1. The Scavenger’s Daughter Invented as an instrument of torture in the reign of Henry VIII by Sir Leonard Skeffington, Lieutenant of the Tower of London, the Scavenger’s Daughter was a ‘chief English sort of torture next after the rack’. By swingingRead more

‘Remove the Head or Destroy the Brain’: A History of Zombie Slaying

Ahead of our ‘Science of Zombie Killing’ talk this October, we brush up on the many different ways to defend ourselves in the event of an outbreak of the living dead with Royal Armouries’ Curator of Firearms Jonathan Ferguson.  Is this the ideal zombie weapon? Well, not really… It wasn’t the intention of the late George Romero, a progenitor of modern zombie culture best known for his zombie apocalypse films, but a lot of us seem to enjoy the killing ofRead more

Object of the Month for October: The Ultimate Zombie Apocalypse Weapon

In this monthly blog series, our collections team write about their Object of the Month. With Halloween imminent and the chance of a so-called Zombie Apocalypse increased, Jonathan Ferguson, Curator of Firearms, nominates a surprising candidate for ‘best zombie killing weapon’. For October’s Object of the Month, I was asked to choose my favourite object from our collection – but with a twist. It had to be my favourite zombie-slaying object. I will be following this post up with one onRead more