Curator of Edged Weapons, Bob Woosnam-Savage poses with swords from Lord of the Rings movies made by Weta Workshops

Robert Woosnam-Savage

Bob Savage is Curator of European Edged Weapons at the Royal Armouries Museum based in Leeds.


Robert C Woosnam-Savage, AMA, read Art History at the University of Manchester (1978-81) and gained a Post-Graduate Diploma in Art Gallery and Museum Studies (1982).

He became Curator of European Arms and Armour at Glasgow Museums (1983-97) and whilst there co-authored (with Claude Blair) Scottish Firearms (1995). He also curated the major UK touring exhibition of 1995-6 commemorating the 250th anniversary of the ’45, Bonnie Prince Charlie: Fact and Fiction, which also was shown at the National Army Museum, London, and was the editor of the accompanying book 1745: Charles Edward Stuart and the Jacobites (1995). Other works published include a number of articles ranging from the arms and armour of Uccello’s paintings, Scottish long-guns and children’s swords and the co-authored Brassey’s Book of Body Armor (2000).

Senior Curator of European Edged Weapons at the Royal Armouries Museum since 2001 he has been heavily involved, from 2004, with the Culloden Battlefield Memorial Project which opened in 2008. His love of movies and arms and armour came together when he also co-curated (with Sir Richard Taylor) the highly successful Royal Armouries exhibition Arms & Armour from the Movies: The Wonderful World of Weta (2008). His interest in the Jacobites and Culloden continued with the publication of the chapter ‘To Gather an Image Whole: some early maps and battle plans of the battle of Culloden’ in Culloden: The history and archaeology of the last clan battle (ed. Tony Pollard, 2009). More recently he has contributed an entry on the Welsh Castles of Edward I to The Oxford Encyclopedia of Medieval Warfare & Military Technology (2010).

Since 2004 he has co-led a number of highly successful tours of castles in England, Scotland and Wales as part of the Post–Congress section of the International Medieval Congresses organised by the University of Leeds.
He has been a historical consultant on a number of movies including Rob Roy (1995) and more recently Robin Hood (2010).

A chapter about the arms and armour of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings motion picture trilogy will appear in the forthcoming Picturing Tolkien: Film and Fiction (2011) and he is currently working on a book on medieval arms and armour at war. In 2010 was elected to the Executive Board of the International Committee for Museums of Arms and Military history (ICOMAM).

Did you know?

The first Luger pistol

The very first Luger pistol manufactured at the Erfurt factory in Germany is in the Royal Armouries collection.

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