From the reign of Henry VIII onwards, distinguished foreign dignitaries were invited to visit the Tower of London to inspect the royal armoury. First created in the second half of the 17th century – the ‘Line of Kings’ exhibition has a history spanning over 350 years.
Henry VIII’s court armoury
Henry wanted his armour workshops at Greenwich to set a new standard for craftmanship. He employed the most skilful armourers from Italy and Germany and sought to create beautifully crafted armours that surpassed those of his European rivals.
By 1520, the Greenwich armourers were putting the finishing touches to Henry VIII’s Foot Combat armour. It was a triumph. The armour was an outstanding example of cutting edge technology that matched, if not bettered, anything in Europe. The great era of English-styled armours had begun.
Henry VIII’s Foot Combat armour was so extraordinary in fact, that over 400 years later it provided inspiration for NASA spacesuit designs.
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