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Dean Castle Arms and Armour

Small swords

Fencing foil


Fencing foil that was possibly used by the 8th Lord Howard de Walden, a keen medievalist and enthusiast of chivalric tradtion. Foils is characterised by their very light, tapered blades that are designed to bend easily. 


A foil is one of three weapons - including the épée and sabre - used in fencing. The modern foil was the training weapon for the small sword. The use of a foil as a practice weapon can be traced as far back as the 16th century, with Shakespeare's Hamlet referring to foils in Act 5 Scene 2. Hamlet uses foils during his 'breathing time' - otherwise known as exercise!

Dean Castle
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East Ayrshire Council

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