Hooray! Henry returns to Leeds in style! - Tuesday, 27 July 2010
The Royal Armouries Tournament Gallery has undergone a major makeover to mark the return of Henry VIII’s world famous armour to Leeds.
Following a year at the Tower of London, Henry’s spectacular foot combat armours and ‘horned helmet’ has returned to the Armouries’ flagship museum at Clarence Dock.
Building on the record-breaking success of the Henry VIII: Dressed to Kill exhibition at the White Tower last year, organised by the RA and Historic Royal Palaces, the Tudor Treasures are now presented in all their glory in new showcases in the Leeds’ Tournament Gallery.
The new displays introduce the thrills and spills of the highly dangerous tournament sports – and the armour specially developed to protect competitors from the deadly swords, lances and axes. The tour starts with two of the rarest and earliest helms (helmet made about 1375-1400) to survive from Medieval England.
Other tour highlights include:
- A tribute to one of history’s great “tournament fans” – the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I who gifted the ‘Horned Helmet’ to Henry VIII.
- The ‘Boys’ Case’ and toy armours – miniature armours worn by young princes, who began to train for the sport from an early age.
- Elizabethan display – although Elizabeth I could not herself take part, she encouraged her courtiers to participate. Examples of armours belonging to the Earl of Leicester, Sir Christopher Hatton and others are on show, combining style with functionality.
- History comes alive – the revamped gallery includes short films; live performances and an introduction to the RA’s Tiltyard, where jousts and tournament games are held regularly.
For more details about the RA – Britain’s oldest museum – visit www.royalarmouries.org
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Tel: 07838 379599
Notes to editors
- Royal Armouries is the national museum of arms and armour and has sites in Leeds, HM Tower of London, Fort Nelson and Louisville, Kentucky. It is the first British national museum to open a permanent presence in another country
- Admission to the museum is free. However, there may be a small charge for some special events.
- Open all year daily, 10am-5pm. Closed 24-25 December
- Information Line: 0113 220 1999
- Website: www.royalarmouries.org
- The Royal Armouries Museum should not be confused with Royal Armouries International plc, the private sector corporate hospitality business.