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Visitor numbers on the rise at Royal Armouries

Monday, 18 November 2019

Leeds flagship museum on course to welcome over 240,000 visitors

Light Knight at the Royal Armouries (image: Charlotte Graham photography)

The Royal Armouries on Leeds Dock, the national museum of arms and armour, received 120,000 visits in the first six months of the year, 16% more than the previous year and on course to exceed 240,000 for the first time since 2010-11.

Special Monarchs weekends, sell-out international jousting events, new restaurants and cafes and an outdoor summer maze helped drive visitor numbers over the first half of the year.

Royal Armouries Director-General Dr Edward Impey said:

“It has been an excellent year so far for our Leeds museum, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our staff and volunteers and of course our visitors. They are drawn by our fantastic collection and headline events, but we also offer live performances and combat demonstrations every single day free of charge, something we have worked tirelessly to develop and which is a central part of our USP. We have a packed schedule planned from now into 2020 which we feel really embodies the dynamic and creative approach we are striving for.”

Make: Believe, an exciting new display and supporting events programme exploring the role of arms and armour in popular culture, opened in October and showcases the museum’s expansive collection of fantastic items made famous by film, television, stage and more. The display will be accompanied by a show stopping series of events on the theme of popular culture, including; Action Heroes (30 November & 1 December), Space Heroes (28 & 29 December), Fantasy Heroes (25 & 26 January) and Superheroes (15–23 February). Movie nights in the museum’s own cinema with behind the scenes insights from special guest speakers will aim to push numbers even higher.

In March 2020 the museum will open a new exhibition bringing together for the first time some remarkable objects associated with Henry VIII. ‘Tudor Power and Glory’ celebrates the 500th anniversary of the Field of Cloth of Gold, one of the greatest and most conspicuous displays of wealth and culture that Europe had ever seen. With armours and other artefacts from the museum’s own collection as well as items on loan from the Met in New York, and the Musée de l’Armée in Paris, it is expected to attract an additional 40,000 visitors over its Leeds run.


For event updates follow:

Notes to editors

Further enquiries to:

Paul Barrett
Head of Marketing & Communications
Telephone: 0113 220 1972

About the Royal Armouries

Entry to the museum is free but some activities carry a small charge.