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 Royal Armouries collection online is currently undergoing redevelopment and is not available to the public. We hope to launch our new collections search in 2016.

The Royal Armouries collection consists of some 70,000 examples of arms, armour, and artillery dating from antiquity to the present day. It includes royal armour of the Tudor and Stuart kings; arms and armour of the English Civil Wars, including the Armoury from Littlecote House; British and foreign military weapons from the Board of Ordnance and MOD Pattern Room collections; hunting and sporting weapons; as well as an exceptional collection of oriental arms and armour.

Tower of London

The Royal Armouries also has a significant collection of fine and decorative arts, and a special collection of material relating to the Tower of London, including antique prints and drawings, paintings, early photographs, stereoscopes and lantern slides, and rare books.


The Royal Armouries library contains material relating to the history of the development and use of arms, armour, artillery, and fortifications, as well as the history of the Tower of London.

It has special collections of original military manuals, drill books, and fencing manuals. The collection amounts to some 30,000 books and pamphlets, 10,000 journals and magazines, and 6,000 auction sales catalogues.

Browse our library catalogue online


Your Paintings The Royal Armouries has a large image library containing some 70,000 images of objects in the collection, which are available for purchase and reproduction.

In addition, now you can view our oil, acrylic and tempera paintings online at Your Paintings, which is a joint initiative between the BBC, the Public Catalogue Foundation (a registered charity), and participating collections and museums from across the UK. Our artwork is located across our three sites, click on each link below to discover what is there:


The archives contain records relating to the history of the Tower of London and its institutions, the Tower Armouries (before 1 April 1984), the Royal Armouries (after 1 April 1984), and the history and development of arms and armour, including the design and manufacture of British military small arms. There are also a number of small collections and individual items relating to chivalry and knighthood, duelling, hunting and shooting, warfare and military science.

Image library

The image library contains high-resolution digital images of some of the finest items in the Royal Armouries collection. Copies of our images can be purchased, and licenses are available for commercial, editorial and academic use. Please contact the Royal Armouries image library directly at or telephone 0113 220 1832.

  • The subject of arms and armour as an academic discipline owes its origins to a small group of 19th and 20th century gentlemen scholars.

Did you know?

It's Leeds for designer gear

Greenwood and Batley of Albion Works, Leeds (established in 1854), was one of the most important designers and manufacturers of firearm and ammunition manufacturing equipment in the world.