armour and drawing of armour

Inspired by... The craft of the armourer

inspired by The Royal Armouries is delighted to work with local artist Sean Casey on this, the first ‘Inspired by…’ exhibition at the Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds.

Sean Casey Our Visitor Experience staff first made the Creative and Curatorial teams aware of a visitor making remarkable sketches in the galleries. It became clear that Sean was keen to discover more about the work of the artists and craftsmen who created the arms and armour which inspired him to feature their work in his drawings – in turn works of art in themselves. Royal Armouries staff quickly recognised Sean’s enthusiasm and creativity as the basis for an exciting partnership.

Many objects in the collection were designed and made by skilled craftsmen -armourers at the top of their trade who provided the most effective protection and weaponry for their clients. Some objects were also beautifully decorated with designs by outstanding artists, creating arms and armour which expressed their owner’s wealth and taste, status and power.

Royal Armouries curators discussed the decoration and styles of armour with Sean, encouraging him to identify further with his favourite items in both the Tournament and War galleries. Meanwhile, the Creative team worked with him on the display of his artwork and preparation of information for labels and web pages.

The Royal Armouries looks forward to showcasing further ‘Inspired by’ responses to the national collection of arms and armour from both individuals and local community groups. If you are interested in proposing an ‘Inspired by…’ display, please email us at

Did you know?

Palmerston's Follies

Fort Nelson is one of the ‘Palmerston Forts’, commissioned in the 1860s by Lord Palmerston, who feared a French attack. By the time they were completed, however, any threat from France disappeared. The forts gained the nickname ‘Palmerston’s follies’.