Medieval Armour and Mobility


This is a very short post this week, because I really want to do no more than share the video at the bottom of the page.

Before I saw it I thought medieval knights must have been very clumsy in their armour. I also thought that it would be hard for them to move around. On the other hand, a knight who can’t move is surely a dead knight. It was a conundrum which the video solves.

The men in the video are wearing full armour based on that worn in the fifteenth century. This is a bit later than the period I usually cover, but the video is so good, it’s worth sharing.

Not only does the video show how easily an armoured knight could move, it also shows how much of his body was not covered in armour. Depending on what he was dong, various parts of the body could be horribly exposed, even if it was covered by a gambuson.

I hope you enjoy it.



Filed under Fourteenth Century

43 responses to “Medieval Armour and Mobility

  1. Wow..I am amazed at how mobile they are!..thanks for sharing this April.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting video. I’ve always been fascinated by armour, and some of the strange beliefs about it. Was it the old Laurence Olivier/Henry V movie that showed knights being winched onto their horses? In reality, a knight who couldn’t get himself on or off a horse would have been in serious trouble. And images of medieval knights often showed them in the ornate jousting armour of the Renaissance, rather than the more practical field armour they would have worn.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. pretty cool. I’m a bid of a nerd about this kind of stuff and wouldn’t have guessed this either

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The knights, and other heavy combat fighters (because you must be elevated after you have proven yourself not only at fighting, but also in the many facets of chivalry), in our Society for Creative Anachronism don’t usually wear armor quite as shiny as that seen in your video, but they certainly can move! Thank you for posting this! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Fascinating. The men must have had a bit of fun filming this, but I notice they are very young. The weight of the armor on arthritic shoulders makes me wince. It also must have been very sweaty in there. As for the visibility through that slit… scary stuff. Although you do get used to things after a while and loads of practice, I suppose.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I’m sure it was heavy. Not all the weight was on the shoulders, fortunately. Some of it was strapped around the waist. I would not have liked to smell them at the end of a day’s battle, either. Apparently the vision wasn’t quite as restricted as it appears, but it wasn’t fantastic. You’re right, practice must have been the key.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I had a chat to a chap about the weight of armour at a jousting event where they wear very expensive replica medieval armour. He told me the weight was OK because it was spread over his whole body.

        His armour weighed about 62 kg (136 pounds). That sounds like a lot, but he said heat was the main problem because of the padded tunic (I forget the proper name) he wears inside it. He came off his horse in a joust once (something that shouldn’t happen, the point being to break your lance) and scarcely felt the impact as he hit the ground because of the padded “shock absorber” he was wearing.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Very mobile but what about the weight?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Another good one
    I think too many folks were influenced by the technique in “The Court Jester” with Danny Kay 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I had the video open in a new tab until I had the chance to watch it. Just finished, and it was awesome! Thanks so much for passing this along, April!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: The Weight of Medieval Armour | A Writer's Perspective

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