Why not book a talk for your group?
As some of the world’s leading authorities in their fields, our curators can give lectures to groups with a passion for a particular subject.
A choice of titles is offered below, please ask if you have an interest which is not mentioned here, we may be able to adapt the content for your group.
The Supernatural Survival Guide: Arms & Armour in Folklore & Fiction
Through the ages people have believed in the supernatural and have armed themselves against it. Discover the folklore behind the fiction as our Curator of Firearms explains how to slay or evade imagined entities from vampires and werewolves to the monster of the moment, the zombie. Includes an opportunity to examine the Royal Armouries own ‘vampire killing kit’ for yourself.
Peace Through Superior Firepower: Sci-Fi Weapons and Reality
From the ‘heat rays’ of H.G. Wells’ ‘War of the Worlds’ to the iconic ‘Pulse Rifle’of ‘Aliens’, learn how and why the depiction of weapons in Science & Speculative Fiction has changed over the years. Find out which pieces of SF technology have made it into the real world, and which remain in the realm of fantasy.
The way of the warrior: Japanese arms and armour
An introduction to the history, materials development and cultural place of armour in Japan. This lecture covers the topics of archery and the sport of yabusame, armour, firearms, swords, and equestrian equipment.
From Maghrib to Mughal: Swords and daggers of India and the Islamic world
Discover the wide range of edged weapons of the Indian sub continent and Islam. This lecture serves as a good general introduction to this complex subject, covering the historical background and illustrating regional variations.
Dressed to Kill: the arms and armour of Henry VIII
Based on the exhibition held at the Tower of London in 2009, this lecture highlights the surviving arms and armour of Henry VIII, the artists who created it, and the life of the king who wore it.
The Popham armoury from Littlecote House
Littlecote House was the last great private armoury in England, dating from the mid 17th century. This lecture describes the history of this remarkable collection, how it has contributed to our understanding of 17th century arms and armour, and how it was saved for the nation.
Bravehearts & battles: Scottish Arms & Armour 1000-1800
This lecture looks at the arms and armour of Scotland, examining iconic Scottish basket-hilted swords to famous ‘Highland’ pistols, and exploring questions such as what would Macbeth have used and would William Wallace really have used a ‘claymore’?
Agincourt 1415: Myth and reality
The film Henry V by Laurence Olivier (1944) has influenced how a whole generation sees Agincourt and the type of materiel used in the battle. This lecture examines the relationship of the film to known history, and the sources used to create this classic piece of film-making.
1745 and all that: Charles Edward Stuart and the Jacobites
One of the Culloden research team, provides an overview of the participants, battles and arms and armour, as well as results from recent excavations of the last Jacobite rebellion at Culloden, after their failed attempt to restore the deposed Stuart dynasty to the British throne.
8 days in August: The Scottish expedition to Norway of 1612
This lecture untangles the legend and the reality behind the weapons and the story of a group of Scottish mercenaries. Heading to fight for Sweden, during the Kalmar War between Denmark-Norway and Sweden, many of them were slain at the battle of Kringen and the following day most of the surviving 134 prisoners were massacred, leaving only 18 alive.
Knights in the Age of Chivalry
Hear the story of armour, from the Knights of the Middle Ages wearing helmets and mail shirts as the armourers attempt to solve the problem of giving full protection while allowing maximum mobility. Learn about tournament and battle armours and the myths and realities of knights in armour.
Treasures of the Renaissance
Renaissance kings, princes and emperors all vied with each other to commission armours that were works of art. Discover the techniques of decorating steel, including embossing, engraving, etching, damascening and colouring with heat and gold, as well as splendid swords worn as dress accessories and firearms made as prestigious gifts.
Danger, thrills & spills: Tournaments as extreme sports
Tournaments began at the end of the 11th century as practice for war, but by the 16th century, they had evolved into ‘extreme sports’. This lecture examines how the opportunity for individual and team glory, parades and processions, heraldry, tactics and horsepower, makes them comparable to a Formula 1 Grand Prix!
Princely armour and weapons of childhood
This lecture explores the themes of training to become a knight, courtly dress and tournament armour, Royal arms and armour of the Stuarts, miniature gentlemen and gentlemanly pursuits, young soldiers, weapons and armour as toys and oriental armour and weapons for children.
Separating fact from fiction and busting some of the myths of firearms lore, this lecture also verifies some of the strange claims that have emerged over the last 200 years- Can a gunshot really knock a person over? Who or what was ‘Brown Bess’? What exactly was ‘the whole nine yards’?
Made by the lowest bidder
What makes a good infantry weapon? This lecture looks at the arms issued to the British soldier over the last three-hundred years – from the Land Pattern Musket to the SA80A2 assault rifle – and assesses their impact upon the development of firearms technology and military history.
Accusations of underhand tactics between warring parties has a long history and this lecture investigates both the truth of some of these claims, and the deeper meaning behind them; from poisoned musket balls in the Civil War to high-velocity rounds in the Gaza Strip.
Royal Armouries Museum: From London to Leeds
The Royal Armouries Museum has almost a 1000-year history and evolution; from William the Conqueror’s arsenal in London, to becoming Britain’s earliest museum and national collection of arms and armour.
Only Water Between: The story of a Yorkshire family during The Great War
Hear the story of Jack and Gert Adam from a collection of letters in the museum’s archives. In August 1918 Gert’s letters to Jack in France begin to be returned unopened and the collection reveals her endeavours to find out what happened to her husband.
At present we are only able to offer these talks at the museum in Leeds
Weekday Price: £6 per attendee
Weekend Price: £10 per attendee (minimum 15)
Length: 45-60 mins
Tel: 0113 220 1888