Meet the Blacksmiths | Dangerous Arts

Suffolk-based blacksmiths Paul Stoddart from Kingdom Forge and Daniel Goodwin from Firehound Forge showcased their traditional skills at the Royal Armouries as part of our Dangerous Arts summer. We caught up with them to ask a few questions as they made a one of a kind replica medieval arming sword for the museum. Tell us a little bit about the work that you do. Dan: I’m from Firehound Forge and we’re located over in the West Midlands, we make everything fromRead more

Object of the Month for September: ‘Welsh Knife’ of the 9th Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers

In this monthly blog series, our collections team write about their Object of the Month, chosen from our collection. In this month’s blog Henry Yallop, Assistant Curator of European Edged Weapons tells the story of how a British peer partnered with a renowned forger of arms and armour to design a weapon for the 9th Battalion of the Royal Welch Fusiliers.   Despite its name, the ‘Welsh knife’ was neither truly Welsh nor a knife. Born out of an attempt to create aRead more

Cutting Edge Fantasy | Damascus Steel & Valyrian Steel

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

Cutting Edge Fantasy | Swords in A Game of Thrones

As HBO’s epic retelling of George R.R. Martins ‘Game of Thrones’ draws to a close, Stefan Maeder, Director of Collections here at the Royal Armouries gives us a fascinating insight into the swords of the series.  Swords and Symbolism  Having become obsolete as a weapon of war, the sword even today maintains its significance as a potent symbol. In the bible it epitomises the word of God, as well as being a synonym for justice, punishment, and violence in general.Read 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

Arms and Armour in Popular Culture

Here at the Royal Armouries we have for some years collected objects associated with popular culture, including props for the movies and theatre. In 2008, the Armouries held an exhibition called Arms and Armour from the Movies; The Wonderful World of Weta. A new project called Collecting Cultures: Arms and Armour in Popular Culture has been supported by a substantial grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. This project seeks to look at arms and armour through the lens of popularRead more