The Line of Kings: 1869-2011

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 today’s post, we’ll continue the story of how the Line of Kings transformed between 1869 and 2011.  Despite its great public appeal, the New Horse Armoury was causing theRead more

Our ‘Knight-in-Residence’ Andy Deane at the Tournament of King John III

The museum’s ‘Knight-in-Residence’ Andy Deane is no stranger to the clattering lances and thundering hooves of the Royal Armouries annual tournament, but how does he fare when competing away from home? The Royal Armouries recently had the honour of competing in the Tournament of King John III at Gniew Castle in Poland. Here, Andy tells us about his experience.  What is the Tournament of King John III and how did the Royal Armouries come to be involved? The Tournament startedRead more

Sam Colt – The Yorkshire Connection

In today’s blog, Peter Smithurst, Emeritus Curator at the Royal Armouries explains the link between Colt revolvers and Yorkshire. We are so used to thinking of “Colt” revolvers as being quintessentially American that it may come as a surprise to some that there was a strong Yorkshire input. Colt favoured steel produced by Thomas Firth and Sons of Sheffield and in using it, he was adding an element of invisible quality beyond that of many of his contemporaries, once again exhibitingRead more

Collecting Cultures: Armour in Popular Culture

Much of the public perception of arms and armour is coloured by popular culture, yet many museums have been slow to appreciate and preserve the wonderful things made for films, games and other media. In the second installment of our Collecting Cultures blog posts, we turn to examples of the armour in our collection best known for its use on the silver screen. Necromonger Lord Marshal’s Armour Armour wise, we have been successful in acquiring a hero armour from theRead more

Behind the scenes at the Leeds museum

Museum Maintenance Week 16 – 22 January Throughout Maintenance Week, our Museum Maintainers will be doing what they normally do behind closed doors in front of our visitors at the Leeds museum. Looking after the national collection of arms and armour is a big job and an even bigger responsibility. Many of our objects are extremely important in the history of arms and armour, and though they might not look it, many of them are quite fragile too. We haveRead more

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s campaign for better armour on the Western Front: Part four

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is best known as the creator of the great detective Sherlock Holmes. However, Conan Doyle also used his fame to campaign on behalf of British soldiers during the First World War. Conan Doyle’s conversations with the War Office, in which he suggests equipping the troops with better shields, helmets and body armour, form the subject of this blog series. In this final post of the series – written by Philip Abbot, Archives and Records Manager at Royal Armouries –Read more