Meet the Percheron Horses

Meet the remarkable horses who will be taking part in our forthcoming Artillery on Parade event on 22 and 23 July at Fort Nelson. Find out more about the history of the breed, what makes them special and meet the horses who will take part, working alongside the volunteer groups in the re-enactments. Percheron History There are many discrepancies and disputes regarding the earliest record and exact origin of the Percheron breed. Some records date back to the 17th century,Read more

Meet the Horses 2017

We’ve introduced you to the apprentices and jousters taking part in our tournaments over the next fortnight, so let us introduce you to the real stars of the Knight’s Apprentice and the Easter Tournament. NB: A horse is measured in “hands” with each “hand” being equal to four inches. ALFIE Traditional Cob, 15 hands Don’t be fooled by the colouring, the humble black and white cob has been seen in many of the great battles throughout history. Alfie’s short, stockyRead more

Neigh-ly Done

Previously on the Royal Armouries blog we posted a story about an equine project our Conservation Team have been working on. This life-size papier-mache horse was created by the early 20th century craftsman Felix Joubert. The horse came up to Leeds from the Tower of London to undergo repair work earlier this year. Since our initial report the Joubert horse is starting to look a little better after a lot of filling, sanding, consolidating and infill painting. His ear isRead more

Collections Up Close September

An unusual item in the Royal Armouries collection is a horse’s hoof that has been made into a presentation box. The hoof is mounted with a horseshoe and fetlock-shaped lid in silver gilt. The hoof came from ‘Prodigy’, a horse ridden during the Crimean War (1853–56). The lid of the box is engraved describing Prodigy’s exploits: The near hind hoof of Prodigy a Bay Charger who was present at the battle of Alma Sept 20. ridden during the flank marchRead more

Tales of the Tournament

Few things can compare with the colour, theatre, and spectacle of a Medieval tournament which at the time were hugely popular. The archetypal image is of armoured knights on horseback galloping towards each other with lances. However tournaments took place over a period of about 600 years, evolving from military exercises and including courtly displays of wealth and sportsmanship. The tourney probably began in the 11th century, as opposing groups of Norman knights practiced tactics for the battlefield. These early combatsRead more

Weird and Wonderful

At first glance, this surprising object could almost be mistaken for an impressive piece of skeleton from a whale or something similarly enormous. In actual fact, it is an extremely rare preserved example of a late 15th/early 16th-century German jousting saddle, which was used in the form of joust known as the ‘Gestech im hohen Zeug’. The saddle supported knights in a standing position rather than seating them on the back of the horse. The saddle consists of a largeRead more