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Dean Castle Arms and Armour




Cuisses are a form of armour worn to protect the thigh. The word is the plural of the French word cuisse meaning 'thigh'. While the skirt of a maille shirt or tassets of a cuirass could protect the upper legs from above, a thrust from below could avoid these defences. Thus, cuisses were worn on the thighs to protect from such blows.


Whilst continental armours typically had cuisses that did not protect the back of the thigh, English cuisses were typically entirely encapsulating, due to the English preference for foot combat over the mounted cavalry charges favoured by continental armies.


Cuisses could also be made of brigandine or splinted leather, but beginning around 1340 they were typically made from steel plate armour.

Dean Castle
Digital Number:
East Ayrshire Leisure Trust

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