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Renaissance, Reivers & The Reformation

Border Reivers

Battle Axe

Description:

The battle axe was reputedly Robert the Bruce's favoured weapon. A story is told of the first blow dealt at the Battle of Bannockburn by Bruce himself using a battle axe:

As Bruce was ordering his troops for battle the vanguard of the English approached. Amongst them was a knight named Sir Henry de Bohun. Bohun, dressed in full armour and riding a fine steed, saw that the king was poorly armoured and mounted and saw an opportunity to make a name for himself. He charged full tilt toward him with his spear but Bruce, seeing his approach, spurred his own horse on to meet him. As they collided Bohun's spear just missed the King who swung his axe and brought it crashing down on the Knight's head. He used such force that it plunged through both Bohun's helmet and skull and split the handle of the axe in two.

This particular battle axe belonged to the 8th Lord Howard de Walden's collection. Very little is known about where it came from or when it was made.

Materials/Media:
iron, steel and wood
Dimensions:
L 1030mm
Source:
Dean Castle
Accession number:
MA/M2
Digital Number:
EAAM033n
Copyright:
East Ayrshire Council