Interactive timeline - Conflict

  1. This Greek Corinthian helmet from 650 BC is made from bronze and is one of the most beautiful shapes of helmets ever made.

    479 BC

    Battle of Plataea

    Final major battle of the Greco-Persian Wars; ending the expansion of the Persian Empire into Greece.

  2. This composite figure gives a good impression of the appearance of a Mongol cavalryman of the 13th century.

    1260 AD

    Battle of 'Ain Jalut

    'Ayn Jalut was a major world event. The first time a Mongol army was defeated in open battle.

  3. This is one of only three surviving great helms of the mid-14th century which were probably made in England.

    1346 AD

    Battle of Crécy

    First land victory of the '100 Years War' for English infantry over French mounted knights.

  4. This 15th century Turkish helmet bears the titles of a sultan in the inscription around its lower edge.

    1453 AD

    Siege of Constantinople

    The fall of Constantinople was the first great siege won with gunpowder artillery.

  5. An oil painting of the Battle of Pavia by unknown artist c.1525.

    1525 AD

    Battle of Pavia

    First significant victory by infantry with firearms over fully armoured knights on the battlefield.

  6. This elephant armour is the only example of its type surviving in a public collection, and the largest and heaviest animal armour in the world, weighing 118 kg

    1526 AD

    Battle of Panipat

    A traditional Indian army with war elephants is beaten by artillery and infantry musketeers.

  7. This Greenwich armour was made for the military writer and innovator Sir John Smythe in response to the threat of invasion by Spain.

    1588 AD

    Defeat of Spanish Armada

    Spain's attempt to invade England ended when English ships with superior guns defeated its Armada.

  8. One of two armours given to Capt. John Saris in 1613 by Shogun Tokugawa Hidetada as part of a gift for King James I of England.

    1600 AD

    Battle of Sekigahara

    100 years of civil war ends. Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu's dynasty rules Japan for the next 250 years.

  9. This magnificent armour of King Charles I stands only 1571 mm tall, but is superbly decorated all over with gold leaf.

    1645 AD

    Battle of Naseby

    Charles I defeated. He is arrested, tried and executed. Parliament rules England as a republic.

  10. This is the dress sword of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington. It is a Heavy Cavalry Officer's Dress Sword Pattern 1796 widely used by general officers.

    1815 AD

    Battle of Waterloo

    Wellington described Napoleon's defeat as a 'close run thing'. The battle's outcome shaped Europe.

The Museum

The Royal Armouries the United Kingdom’s National Museum of Arms and Armour. It is Britain’s oldest museum, and one of the oldest museums in the world. It is also one of the largest collections of arms and armour in the world, comprising of the UK’s National Collection of Arms and Armour, National Artillery Collection, and National Firearms Collection. It is also the keeper of the Tower of London history.

Britain’s oldest museum has grown from its origins as the main royal and national arsenal at the Tower of London into a family of museums located throughout the United Kingdom and in North America.

There are three museums in the United Kingdom: Leeds, Tower of London which house the national collection of arms and armour, and Fort Nelson which which is home to the national collection of artillery. Louisville, Kentucky, USA is our latest addition, and here in partnership with the Frazier International History Museum we tell the story of America’s history, starting in Europe.

A more detailed history of the the Royal Armouries can be found in the History of the Collection section.

Did you know?

Going off half-cocked

Many older guns have a form of safety that prevents the gun from being fired when the hammer is pulled halfway back. Sometimes a fault develops which allows the gun to fire when the hammer is in the half-cocked position, before a proper aim can be taken.