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Royal Armouries Museum

Arms and armour of the British Civil Wars

Thursday afternoon lecture
21st March - 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

As some of the world’s leading authorities in their fields, our curators and conservators will present an exciting range of talks on subjects as varied as the death of Richard III to the secrets behind the making of the infamous Iraqi Supergun.

The British Civil Wars tore families and friendships apart, setting father against son and brother against brother. Raging across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, the conflict was the greatest political upheaval in the British Isles in six hundred years, and led directly to the execution of King Charles I in 1649.

With no standing army from which to obtain equipment and the nation having long been at peace, the opening months of the war in 1642 witnessed both King and Parliament vying for control of the nation’s arms stores as each sought to equip their armies as fully and quickly as possible.

Although both sides drew on native arms producers, the scale of the conflict also forced them to look abroad for war materiel. Drawing upon an array of material evidence, documentary sources and artistic depictions, this talk will examine the production, use and effectiveness of the types of arms and armour used during the Civil Wars.


Keith Dowen – Assistant Curator of Armour




45 minutes


Keith Dowen is the author of Arms and Armour of the English Civil Wars, which is available to buy from our shop.