Suzanne Dalewicz-Kitto mounting a Japanese armour onto a display stand.


The care of the collection of the Royal Armouries is fundamental to the Museum’s responsibilities.

Not only is its preservation a duty to future generations but it enables the presentation, interpretation and research of the collection.

The Conservation Department at the Royal Armouries not only cares for the collection but strives to maintain its world wide reputation as a centre of excellence for the conservation of arms and armour.

The museum collection comprises approx. 70,000 objects covering a complete range of arms, armour and related material, including guns, swords, armour, artillery, and polearms.

More important to the conservator, however, are the materials from which those objects are made. The materials we encounter are as diverse as they can possibly be, including almost all known metals, leather, lacquer, textiles, feathers, bone, ivory and other animal products, wood, glass, modern materials such as plastics and rubber.

The main conservation laboratory is in Leeds but the Royal Armouries also has conservation teams at the Tower of London and Fort Nelson. Each conservator has a different specialist area that ensures a wide range of care for the collection.

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’.

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