17th century Dutch cuirassier armour

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 of European Armour Keith Dowen explores the history behind our 17th century cuirassier armour. On Wednesday 23rd of May 1618 two Imperial Lords Regent, along with their secretary, were hurled out of the window of the council chamber of Prague’s castle by incensed members of the dissolved Bohemian Protestant Estates. This event, which became known as the ‘Defenestration of Prague’,Read more

Welcome to the conservation department at the Royal Armouries Museum

The Royal Armouries collection comprises approximately 75,000 objects, covering a complete range of arms, armour and related material, including guns, swords, armour, artillery, and polearms. The maintenance and preservation of these objects is a critical role within the museum. Dr Lauren McGhee, Conservator for the museum,  tells us a little more about some recent changes to the conservation laboratory in Leeds, and the important work carried out there. Preserving our collection The preservation of the collection is one of theRead more

Armours of childhood

There has been much academic debate as to the nature of childhood and children’s experiences throughout the ages. As few children set down accounts of their lives and innermost thoughts, we often rely on their surviving possessions to build a picture of the worlds they inhabited. Today we share just a few of the artefacts in our collection designed for use and wear by children.  Armours for boys fall into three categories: for war (called field armours), for foot combats (in theRead more

Objects of the Tudor Court

The Tudor dynasty (1485-1603) is one of the best known and most studied periods in English history. From the unsettling conflicts of the Wars of the Roses to the succession crisis following Henry VIII’s death, the saga has all the makings of a Shakespearian tragedy. The story of the Royal Armouries collection is closely linked with this period, with objects being collected for display at the Tower of London as early as the reign of Elizabeth I. Ahead of ourRead more

The Line of Kings 2011 to present

Having existed in one form or another for over 400 years, the Line of Kings is one of the world’s oldest exhibitions. Having been re-arranged countless times over the centuries at the whims of monarchs and curators, the latest display allows visitors to enjoy some of our most spectacular items. In this final blog post, we’ll resume tracing its development from 2011 to present day. Discover the line and its development over the centuries in our Line of Kings blog series.Read more

Cutting Edge Fantasy

Following the season finale of HBO’s epic ‘Game of Thrones’, Stefan Maeder, Director of Collections here at the Royal Armouries gives us a fascinating insight into the legendary traits of Valyrian steel and it’s real life parallel – Damascus Steel.  Damascus Steel, A Myth? All attempts at “myth-busting” are doomed to fail when it comes to fantasy or fiction. On the other hand it is important to be aware of the degree to which even nowadays myths shape our perception ofRead more