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Eleanor Wilkinson-Keys

Eleanor is Curatorial Assistant of the Arms and Armour, Edged Weapons and Oriental collections at the Royal Armouries in Leeds.

After completing a degree in English and Linguistics (BA Hons, University of Leeds 2008 – 2011) Eleanor was a Curatorial Intern at the Royal Armouries Leeds whilst undergoing her MA Medieval Studies (University of Leeds 2011 – 2013). She then worked at Pontefract Castle as Volunteer Coordinator where she established a successful volunteer scheme as part of a large-scale project funded by the National Lottery Fund. She later became the Volunteering and Events Coordinator across Wakefield Museums and Castles and expanded the scheme at Pontefract Castle across Wakefield Council’s other heritage sites.

In 2016 Eleanor began a part-time PhD at the University of Leeds focusing on tournament in fifteenth-century Europe. Her research is a multidisciplinary study encompassing themes of spectacle and performance, the physical space of the tournament field, horse barding and the symbolic use of decoration on tournament arms and armour. She studies a broad range of sources including historical and literary texts, material culture and iconography.

As part of her role at the Royal Armouries Leeds Eleanor, utilising her expertise and interests, works particularly closely with the museum’s collection of horse armour and related equipment. This includes objects such as the museum’s large collection of spurs. She also sits on the advisory board of the collaborative Warhorse: The Archaeology of a Medieval Revolution? project.

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