1796 British Cavalry swords - light and heavy

Bridget Clifford

Bridget Clifford is Keeper of Tower History at the Royal Armouries at the Tower of London.


Bridget joined the National Maritime Museum after graduating in History from Manchester University in 1977, having cut her museum teeth as a volunteer in her ‘local’ at Hereford. Four years later, having started as a Weapon and become an Antiquity (mainly flags and glassware, but other nameless horrors with nautical associations) she moved to the Armouries and the Department of Edged Weapons, spending the first year battling with “old Tower stock” of the pointy kind in the Brick Tower.

Four children and 20 years part-time curating later – which included working on projects such as the re-storage of the Royal Armouries collections in the Tower in the mid-80s, to taking over the Tower Library and Archive in celebration of the new millennium, and several Tower exhibitions in between – she returned to full-time work as Keeper of Collections South (and library!) in September 2006.

Recent Publications:

“Life with the Lions”, Royal Armouries Yearbook 4, (1999)

“My favourite piece”, The Armourer 46, (July/August 2001)

“Chicken Run”, Royal Armouries Yearbook 7, (2002)

An Introduction to Princely Armours and Weapons of Childhood, Exhibition catalogue with Karen Watts (Royal Armouries, Leeds, 2003)

Did you know?

Simple ideas are best

The Jennings rifle, the Winchester 73 rifle, the Maxim machine gun, and the Luger pistol all use the same basic toggle mechanism to lock the breech, and work in the same way as a knee or elbow joint.

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