Friday, 11 December 2015

Commemorating the Battle of Agincourt at the Tower of London

Once again, I found myself visiting the Tower of London recently.  This time, it was to see the current exhibition commemorating the anniversary of the  Battle of Agincourt.  The exhibition is in the White Tower.  The White Tower has been organised differently, and some previous exhibits removed to house the exhibition on the top floor of the White Tower.  Artifacts range from chronicles written from the time, an angel from the tomb of Alice Chaucer, copies of various documents, Charles VI's armour as a child and Richard's Burton's tunic from the 1950's when he played Henry V on stage!  Quite a mixture.  As no longbows survived from the battle, some were borrowed from the Mary Rose exhibition to show what they would have been like, as well as a chest of arrows.  There's also a digital database in which you can research the battle and find out if any of your family took part.  And no, mine didn't take part.

One of the highlights is a superb model of the battle.  It's huge, and you can walk around it and find out the positions of the various combatants at certain times in the battle.  For someone like me, a non-expert in military history, it gave me an excellent understanding of the battle.

Outside the White Tower on the green are 'history characters'.  I got to see Henry V and the Duke of Orleans 'fight'.  First of all, the armour that was worn was thoroughly explained, and then the weapons used were shown and a demonstration on how to use them in 'slow motion', as it were.  Any hand to hand fighting that took place was over very quickly and the pollaxe was used to great effect.

I couldn't take any pictures inside the exhibition, but here are some of the 'history characters'.  The exhibition runs until January.





3 comments:

Gabriele Campbell said...

Oh, armour porn, nice. :-)

A friend of mine does lots of reenactment stuff wearing a set of plate armour. She's done Agincourt as well.

Poleaxes are evil. :-)

Kasia Ogrodnik said...

Oh, I would love to see a longbow. Never seen one.

Lovely pics. Thanks for sharing, Anerje!

Anerje said...

Hi Gabriele - the 'Knights' said they couldn't really see anything out of their helmets and that we should forget all about hand to hand fighting lasting minutes like they show in films etc and that it was all over in a matter of seconds. The pollaxe was THE weapon!

Hi Kathryn - I'd never seen a longbow either - and we have the Mary Rose to thank for such splendid examples. I need to make the Mary Rose museum top of my list for the New Year.