LEEDS ENGLAND: Royal Armouries Museum

Wednesday, February 27, 2019


Hello! It's already the middle of the week. I hope you're doing well, and I encourage you to fight on♡ Put on your battle armor, whatever it may be: it could be your sun screen, your favorite trousers, or your trusty shoes, and go forth!

If you've been following along my long long England series, you must know by now how museums were a big part of this trip. I've just never been to so many museums in my life, so while in the UK, I might as well take a look around and appreciate the available wealth of knowledge and history.

While there were a lot of armories displayed in the Tower of London and the British Museum, the Leeds Royal Armouries Museum was considered to be an extension, and is solely dedicated to all things concerning warfare.




Some photos on the way! This part of Leeds was so.. peaceful. Or maybe because it was in the middle of the day, around lunch time? I'm glad though there weren't much people.



I can't particularly say if this place is a tourist attraction like most places, but there really wasn't much people here on the day we visited.


Free entrance! Might as well go inside, take a look, and learn something.

Visiting this museum was an interesting experience for me, because yet again I get to see with my own eyes a piece of history, beyond from what I've read in my textbooks. I also say interesting, because I remember playing a computer game called Genghis Khan - Clan of the Gray Wolf together with my sister.

In that strategy game, we'd conquer empires and kingdoms through our chosen country. It starts with Genghis Khan's history and how he was a great conqueror, although you're pretty much free to choose your player. I learned so much about history and enjoyed coming up with my own strategy on going to war. Invasions were fun and exciting, because I got to choose my troops. They could be any of the following: crossbows, longbows, pikemen, samurai, elephants, knights, lancers, catapult, etc. So seeing all these actual replicas and weapons in the museum was strangely nostalgic all because of the Genghis Khan computer game.



Here's some screenshots to help you visualize! I still like it for its old fashioned style. Oh how simple the graphics were back then.

OK so before I geek out further, let's start--



The very first thing you'll find down the Hall of Steel is this ^. It's a mirror of sorts, and which helps you identify the display up above so you won't have to strain your neck the entire time. What you'll see above are spears, helmets, breastplates, and rifles all neatly arranged and just hanging up there.



Yooo it's me 


Armors, lots of them. This national museum is dedicated to suits of armors, helmets, guns, swords, what have yous. It spans from Ancient and medieval warfare, to 17th - 20th centuries. It's overwhelming, but I'll choose to share what I liked most.


This horned helmet honestly looked so creepy, but it's considered as the logo of the museum, and is actually called an armet. An armet is a type of helmet in which it is much lighter and more compact. This was a gift from the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian to Henry VIII back in 1514. It was used more for parades, social events, tournaments, rather than for combat. Imagine though, going off to war with it.. it would've been quite distracting.




Here is Henry VIII's full Foot Combat Armor. I think throughout our time here, I'd always hear about Henry VIII and his colorful history and stories. One particular story that stuck with me was The Field of Cloth of Gold. What made this armor so special was that it was custom made. This was the first one made for the King, however it was not used because the French King decided to change the rules. You can read on through the link!^

Some more notable armors I saw would be the following:

Cuirassier Armor from the Dutch

I like the hearts on the helmet! :o I've always thought about how hard it is to see through these helmets. For sure the knights' visions were limited what with the space they can peek through.


Jousting armor! The whole point of such tournaments is not really for killing each other, since they used lances in trying to knock their opponents off their horse.



I forgot what they call this armor, but I'm fascinated with the curved gauntlet. It looks like a claw. If you look closely, there are engraved patterns all over. It was my sister who told me to look closely, to take note of the details. True enough, each armor had its unique design.

The Lion Armor



This one's called the Lion Armor. I think this one's the least bulky that I've seen. I like the lion design; it's very intricately made. No one knows who owned this piece, but it's known to have been made in 1560. It's been passed on from person to person, though. Researchers and historians can only make assumptions through portraits. 


Three Quarter Field Armour

Looking closely, the design consists of intertwined snakes on a ground of foliage inhabited by grotesque creatures. It's amazing to think how there were so many styles, and they evolved through time. It's surprising as well for me to see how detailed they actually are. I particularly liked this one, because of all the foliage happening there.

At the end of it all... wow. I never knew how they've placed so much effort in the design, material, and functionality of armors. But in the end it's an all or nothing risk with one's life; whether you come home with it or you die with it.

More than the idea of getting killed or doing the killing, there's also the element of protecting, and defense. I realized now throughout my time in this museum, I focused more of my time looking and marveling at the armors compared to the weapons.



Hello my horned helmet friend


As you go up the stairs, you can actually see the display up close from the Hall of Steel!


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I just want to congratulate you for reading this far! ♡♡ While I was writing this, I didn't know if it would be of interest for anyone, but I just kept writing anyway, mainly because I want to share the nostalgia I felt, and the cool armories I saw. I hope you learned a few things!

It's the middle of the week, and we're just a day away from March. Have a great rest of the week, dear reader! :-)

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4 comments

  1. Well done! Great post & amazing photos ♡ I'd love to visit this museum one day, it seems to really nice :) Have a lovely day!
    Ann~
    https://love-english-by-ann.blogspot.com/

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    1. Ann, thank you for your kind words. :) museums are really such great places, I don't think I'll ever get tired of them. Have a lovely day as well ♡♡

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  2. Oooh the Leeds Royal Armouries Museum looks really neat! It is always interesting to see what was used back in the day, even when it comes to seeing how war was dealt with. That game gave me some Age of Empires vibes, haha. It is so cool to see the armors and helmets used back then! They did a great job with preserving the armor. Glad you enjoyed your time there!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

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    1. It was definitely interesting to see how weapons have evolved over time, and hearing the stories of how different nations engaged in war. Haha I googled Age of Empires and it does look quite similar with the battlefield setup :))

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