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

The Line of Kings 1785 to 1869

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 series of blog posts, we’ll bring you the story of how the Line of Kings has transformed from 1547 right through to the present day. The figure ofRead more

What is the Difference Between a Penknife and a Pocket Knife?

In today’s blog, Peter Smithurst, Curator Emeritus of Historical Firearms at the Royal Armouries explains the difference between a penknife and a pocket knife. I was asked recently about terminology in cutlery, especially pen and pocket knives. Firstly, when is a penknife a pocket knife? Traditionally a penknife was used of course for cutting a quill pen. Its blade was fairly small and had a razor-edge. To enable it to hold an edge, the blade was also very hard whichRead more

The Vampire Killing Kit

In this new monthly blog series, one of our curators will write about their Object of the Month, chosen from our collection. To start us off, Curator of Firearms, Jonathan Ferguson has picked a very unique item indeed… our Vampire Killing Kit (perfect for Hallowe’en!) Visit our collection online to see more images and discover more about this object Vampire Killing Kit Our Object of the Month is a Vampire Killing Kit that was acquired by the museum in 2012. The kit includesRead more

Interpreting the Norman Conquest

1066 and landscape change post-Conquest This October, to mark 950 years since the Norman Conquest, the Royal Armouries is hosting a public lecture and a two day conference at the Tower of London to celebrate the anniversary – 1066: Interpreting the Norman Conquest in 2016 (14-16 October)    The conference aims to present the huge changes that have taken place in the interpretation of the Norman Conquest, bringing together distinguished scholars; experts in many fields. The conference will explore theRead more