King Henry V © National Portrait Gallery - Source-wikipedia-detail

Agincourt in the Royal Armoury

To commemorate the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt there will be a Royal Armouries’ special exhibition in the White Tower at the Tower of London.

Charles d'Orlean in the Tower of London © British Library
Charles d’Orlean in the Tower of London. An illuminated folio from a manuscript of poems written by Charles during his imprisonment. Charles (139?-1465) was kept prisoner for 25 years (1415-1440) following his capture at the battle of Agincourt. Royal MS. 16 F.ii, f. 73r © British Library

The Battle of Agincourt will reveal the moving story of the road to battle, the events of 25 October 1415, and the aftermath; exploring the popular myths, reality and legacy of this extraordinary battle.

The exhibition brings together rare and iconic objects for the first time, including medieval arms and armour, art, music, sculpture and manuscripts from the Royal Armouries’ own collection and leading European institutions. The exhibition includes spectacular illuminated manuscripts from the British Library and the Lambeth Palace as well as French loans including the alleged purpoint of Charles VI, who was not at the battle because he was mentally unfit, and the spectacular jeweled ring of John the Fearless, his regent, which has been lent the Louvre. The ring is a very delicate object showing what is believed to be a precise portrait of the duke, who, as a brother of the king of France, played an important role in the events at the beginning of the 15th century.

St Albans Cathedral and Abbey Church Saint George  ca 1370
St. George ca. 1370. From St Albans Cathedral and Abbey Church

One of the more accurate images of a knight kitted out for the battle comes from an unlikely source, a sculpture of St George from St Albans cathedral, depicted head to toe in authentic contemporary armour.

As part of the museum’s commemoration of the 600th anniversary of the battle of Agincourt, the Royal Armouries commissioned a bespoke diorama of the battle with David Marshall, model maker of MMDioramas, along with the Perry brothers of Perry Miniatures. The diorama was carefully made according to measure and clay collected from the battlefield was molded into the model of the quagmire, in which numerous French men-at-arms are said to have been stuck, killed or just plain suffocated to death.

In itself the Tower is an important venue to visit as this was where – initially – some of the high-ranking prisoners from the battle were kept; one of whom was Charles, Duke of Orleans. Visitors will be able to listen to the poignant tales of the French prisoners in the aftermath of battle.


The Battle of Agincourt
Royal Armouries at the Tower of London
23.10.2015 – 31.01.2016


Agincourt 600: Making the Agincourt Diorama – an introduction

Agincourt 600: Getting into battle formation – about the construction of the diorama

Agincourt 600: Making the model – the figures

Agincourt 600: Shaping the battlefield, with David Marshall

Agincourt 600: Painting the armies of Agincourt

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King Henry V © National Portrait Gallery. Source: Wikipedia