The Royal Armouries has just acquired a very unusual piece - a vampire killing kit that was recently put up for auction in North Yorkshire. This intriguing kit comprises a mahogany casket, packed with everything a vampire hunter might need. The box is split into two tiers. The top layer contains a percussion cap pistol … Continue reading Something to get your teeth into…
The armour of the 3rd Earl of Southampton took a trip last week, from its home at the Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds to appear in a new exhibition, Shakespeare: Staging the World, at the British Museum in London. The Earl of Southampton is the only acknowledged patron of William Shakespeare, and this three-quarter armour was … Continue reading Southampton and Shakespeare reunited!
One of the most popular workshops with younger visitors to our education centre at Fort Nelson is the session about Florence Nightingale during which pupils investigate the life and times of the pioneering nurse. Our wrap-around service provides teachers with pre- and post-visit resources to enhance the time the children spend exploring our authentic Victorian … Continue reading Becoming Florence
In 1857 native soldiers of the Indian Army rose up against the British Empire in what became known as the Indian Mutiny. It's often said that the cause of this unrest was the paper cartridge issued for use with the new Pattern 1853 Enfield rifle. These were greased at one end to lubricate the bullet, … Continue reading Bite the Bullet
The Royal Armouries, Leeds has teamed up with local artist Sean Casey to showcase some of his latest works inspired by the Museum’s collection. The drawings Sean has produced at the Royal Armouries relate to a lifelong interest in armour, from playing with toy Timpo Knights, because he couldn’t get Greek warriors, but which were … Continue reading Illustrating Armour
This letter from the Royal Armouries archives contains an eyewitness account of the battle of Jutland fought between the British Grand Fleet and the German High Seas Fleet on 30May - 1 June 1916. It was written by George Slade, a seaman aboard HMS Inflexible, to his mother ten days after the battle to reassure … Continue reading Pretty lucky wasn’t it?
Though it looks like something out of a video game with its twin bayonets, this is a real gun. It is the Sterling S11 sub-machine gun, designed in 1965 as a follow-up to the classic Sterling Mk.4/L2A3 of the 1950s (the latter of which doubled as the Stormtrooper's blasters in 'Star Wars'). It was meant … Continue reading Weird and Wonderful
On 5 November 1854, one of the bloodiest battles of the Crimean War was fought. A large Russian army of over 40,000 troops counter attacked the Anglo-French forces besieging the Crimean town of Sevastopol, in an attempt to drive them away. After several hours of savage fighting the Russians withdrew, leaving over 12,000 dead on … Continue reading Reporting From the Front
Over the next few weeks, as part of the Museum’s preventative conservation programme, work will be carried out in the Royal Armouries stores at our Leeds Museum to cover all the large objects that are not stored on shelves or racking, this includes horse saddles and whole mounted armours. Individual Tyvek covers, a non-woven fabric consisting … Continue reading The Great Cover Up
As part of the the second year of my Conservation Masters at Durham University I will be undertaking a nine-month placement in the Conservation Department at Royal Armouries, Leeds. The placement has begun with the cleaning and conserving of a 17th-century Dutch composite cuirassier armour in preparation for its loan to Edinburgh Castle’s Great Hall, … Continue reading Cuirassier Armour