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COVID-19

A message from Dr Edward Impey, Master of the Armouries

 As you are probably aware, in response to Government advice, we closed our three museum sites and postponed our planned season of events and exhibitions.

We are witnessing an unprecedented event in the history of the modern world.  Entire populations are changing the way they live their lives and plan for the future.

 At the Royal Armouries, we were really looking forward to opening a new exhibition in Leeds to mark the 500th anniversary of the Field of Cloth of Gold, and a thrilling season of activity, including an international jousting tournament. At Fort Nelson we were going to step back to the 1940s with a programme of Second World War-themed events.

History is our business, and the stories we tell about the objects in our care demonstrate the resilience and bravery of mankind and how we have adapted to challenging circumstances in the past. We have picked up the gauntlet thrown down to us by the pandemic, and whilst our doors are temporarily closed, there is still a wealth of fascinating history and amazing objects to explore on our website and through our social media channels. Meanwhile we are turning our energies to developing new digital content, bringing features from our postponed events and exhibitions programme online. We will also be supporting children and parents learning at home with engaging and enriching downloadable resources and short films.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest news, and visit our YouTube channel for action-packed films and behind-the-scenes insights.

We look forward to welcoming you back to our museums to enjoy first-hand the nation’s magnificent collection of arms and armour and discover what it tells us about the history and cultures of the world.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

We hope that the following information will answer any questions you may have whilst our museums are closed.

If you cannot find the answer below please send your question to enquiries@armouries.org.uk and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

 

Why did Royal Armouries decide to close its three sites?
In line with advice from Public Health England and following the Government’s updates on the rapid spread of the coronavirus, Royal Armouries took the decision to close the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds and Fort Nelson with effect from 5pm on Wedneday 18 March until further notice.

When did the Tower of London reopen?
The Tower of London, including The White Tower,  reopened to visitors on Friday 10 July. It is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays and tickets must be booked in advance. Please visit Historic Royal Palaces (www.hrp.co.uk) for more information.

When will Leeds and Fort Nelson reopen to the public?
Given the changing nature of this situation, we are unable to predict how long it will be until we can reopen our sites at Leeds and Fort Nelson. We will communicate any updates to this information via our social media channels.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or sign up for our newsletter for the most up to date information.

 

How can I access the collection during the period of closure?
While our museums are closed you can still explore our collections online and via our social media.

Will Royal Armouries be providing additional online content for visitors whilst the museums are closed?
The doors to our museums may be closed for a while but there is still a wealth of fascinating history and amazing objects to explore on our website and through our social media channels. Plus we are turning our energies to developing new digital content, bringing features from our postponed events and exhibitions programme online.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or sign up for our newsletter for the most up to date information.

 

How do I keep up to date with what’s going on at the Royal Armouries during this time?
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or sign up for our Leeds newsletter or Fort Nelson newsletter for the most up to date information.

 

I have tried to contact Royal Armouries Leeds by telephone but cannot get through. How can I get in touch?
Most of our staff are now working remotely and therefore do not have access to our phone system. We are still dealing with enquiries via email enquiries@armouries.org.uk

I have tried to contact Fort Nelson by telephone but cannot get through. How can I get in touch?
Most of our staff are now working remotely and therefore do not have access to our phone system. We are still dealing with enquiries via email fnenquiries@armouries.org.uk

 

Will you be cancelling this season’s events programme?
All our daily events, special themed weekends, school holiday activities, exhibitions and lectures are postponed until further notice.
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or sign up for our newsletter for the most up to date information.

Has the international jousting tournament been cancelled?
Due to the current situation we have had to postpone our tournament due to take place over the May bank holiday weekend (23 -25 May). As we are unable to set a new date for the tournament for the foreseeable future we will be issuing refunds for any tickets booked for May 2020. Ticket buyers have been contacted directly.

 

I have a school visit booked at Royal Armouries Leeds, will this be cancelled?
If you have a school visit booked at the Royal Armouries, Leeds, please contact educate.leeds@armouries.org.uk

I have a school visit booked at Fort Nelson, will this be cancelled?
If you have booked a school visit to take place during the summer term we will be in touch as soon as we have any further information. If you have any queries about education visits to Fort Nelson please contact: education.fn@armouries.org.uk

 

Who can I contact regarding venue hire at Fort Nelson?
Our Venue Hire Manager will be in touch with you if you have hired rooms at the museum for events due to take place in the next few months. Please contact fnfunctions@armouries.org.uk if you have any queries about existing or future venue hire bookings.

Who can I contact regarding venue hire and corporate events at RoyaL Armouries Leeds?
The cafe and commercial venue spaces at our Leeds museum are now closed. For general enquiries and further information please contact: venuehire@armouries.org.uk

 

What online retail services are available from the Royal Armouries?
Unfortunately our online shop is closed until further notice. We can still take pre-orders for some items but cannot specify a delivery date at this time. For information about offers and what’s coming soon including new publications please sign up for our retail newsletter.

I ordered something from your online shop? Has my order been despatched?
All orders were processed and dispatched before the museum shop was closed on 18 March. If you have a query about an order please visit the contact us page on our online shop site.

 

What does the current situation mean for Freedom of Information requests?
Although we try to answer all Data and Freedom of Information requests within the statutory timeframes responses may be delayed at this time as our staff are working remotely with limited access to the Royal Armouries network.

 

What are the economic implications for Royal Armouries?
Royal Armouries is a charity. As well as government funding, we rely on the income we receive from ticket purchases, retails sales and purchases in our cafes and restaurants for our museums and major events to continue bringing history to life.

Our work as guardian of the national collection of arms and armour continues, even without these streams of income, therefore we will be more reliant on charitable donations and philanthropic funding for the foreseeable future. If you would like to support us please visit our donation page.

How will the closures affect Royal Armouries staff? Will there be redundancies?
Royal Armouries has no plans to make redundancies.

I would like to support the Royal Armouries at this time. How can I do that?
Your donation would be very welcome at this time and will sustain our work as guardians of the national collection of arms and armour. If you would like to support us please visit our donation page.

 

I visited a Royal Armouries site during the 2-weeks before closure. Have there been any confirmed cases of COVID-19 at any of the Royal Armouries sites, either staff or visitors?
To date, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 among Royal Armouries staff. We are unaware of any visitors showing symptoms while on a visit to one of our sites or of visitors showing symptoms since their visit.

 

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