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Dean Castle Arms and Armour


English hanger sword

17th Century

By the 17th century, with the wide introduction of firearms, especially the wheel-lock, for use on horseback, the hunting sword slowly fell into disuse and was replaced by the hanger, carried for defensive purposes. Short curved swords like this were used, rather than a long rapier, for stag hunting and for personal protection in a skirmish with cutpurses in a dark alley. 


The hanger, a short, usually curved sword, was most popular with both huntsmen and the military. It was a good secondary defense weapon when ammunition had been expended, or musket and bayonet lost.


The hilt and grip are blackened steel encrusted with a simple pattern in silver. The curved blade is etched with a crescent man-in-the-moon, a sunburst and an arm emerging from a cloud holding a falchion.

Dean Castle
Digital Number:
East Ayrshire Council

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