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Royal Armouries Leeds

Having finished my exams yesterday, I decided on a day out to clear my thoughts. I have wanted to visit The Royal armouries for some time and now that I have some more free time having completed my university course. I decided to make the quick trip across the Pennines to see what all the fuss was about.

Opening at 10am, it is free entry but booking is still required.

The first thing that grabs your attention as you approach is the magnificent staircase all the way up there are weapons and armour on the inside and the outside of the stairs. Behind there is a jousting area. They hold regular jousts the next tournament being towards the end of August.

The amazingly set out inner wall of the staircase is a sight to behold.

There are 2 main floors with war and tournaments on the second and third, then they have hunting and the Far East on floors 4 and 5. Each is a treasure trove of weapons, armours and information. For the tabletop gamers reading this they also have the fantastic Displays of the battle of Agincourt and part of the battle of Waterloo. They also have demonstrations every few hours were an actor will recount a historic event. We stopped to watch the bowman of Agincourt retell the story of the battle. I am happy to say he was mostly accurate.

Walking into the first exhibition which is marked simply “War”. As you walk in you are greeted by an ancient Corinthian Helmet that was last worn (insert year). However the chap to whom it belonged died. It was not a head wound as the helmet was in excellent condition . There is then a warfare through the ages as they show off the small amount of classic and early medieval items they have in the collection. Following this you enter the main rooms where the bulk of the collection is held. This starts of with relics from the 100 years war and so on up to the 20th century. From bows to machine gun and sword to, well sword. Melee is melee after all.

As we entered the eastern section we were treated by an Indian war elephant. Those SAGA players reading this may wish to take notes for when they are painting them. There is also great amounts of Persian and ottoman items on display, I must confess I do love the decorative details that they applied to their weaponry. Some of the perl encrusted rifles were incredible.

All that being said and Done it was time to hit the shop. I always like to spend a bit in here as well as offering a donation or two. It all goes to maintaining the place and to be fair. It would be a sad loss it these place have to close. Also there is really good books and mead on offer. As stated if you can visit I do fully recommend it. Off down to London next week so may have another post to offer.

By Jim

I spent most of my days on building sites involved in and around brickwork. I've recently been following my passion for history and decided to jump in fully by starting university in my 30's.

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