Sunday, 3 May 2015

York and the Leeds Armouries

Just back from a few days away with the 'other half' down to parts foreign and fantastical, (well Yorkshire) and had a great and relaxing time floating about, eating in the local eateries and drinking in the local drinkeries and just taking in the local vibe generally around York mainly.

We have always had an enjoyable time when down t'York and this time was no exception. Took a bit of time between shopping bouts to have a good look at some of the interesting and thought provoking architectural around the city center (and beyond).

A good source of idea's generally and lot's to get the creative juices going and get lot's of possible terrain pieces formulated.

The obvious tudor and late medieval pieces and the twisting streets in the Shambles are archetypal of the medieval-esque fantasy world of Mordheim and all the other genre's, but to get some of the details of how these buildings actually were built gives a whole new level to spin out.

The Minster is always a favourite place to visit but the Chapter House in particular is a must see and is set to be the main inspiration for a future terrain piece that I've now planned.

Throughout the town, there are many Tudor and slightly later buildings which I do like, mainly because they don't fall into the typical mould of black & white timber and plaster look but are brick and/or stone built like the Treasurers House or indeed parts of the City Wall and it's many gates, many of which were re-built in Tudor times or even into the Seventeenth Century. Even some of the municipal Victorian buildings are interesting for their own reasons and are still a good source for ideas for interesting models.

After our stay in York, and on our way back oop North, my better half agreed to a detour to Leeds and a visit to The Armouries.

Haven't been there since the late Eighties, not that long after it opened, and the significant changes in the way of full urban development and dockland regeneration has taken place (and indeed appears to be on going) around the site so a big change there. Apparently, due to high costs and the loss of the grazing nearby the Museum has had to sell off their horses (and indded their hawks and falcons etc) so no more regular Jousting and Cavalry displays in the Tourney yard like those we enjoyed way back when.

We did enjoy the displays and shows that they were running which included display and demonstration of two handed sword fighting which as my favourite on the day. 

Because of my general interests being more on the Medieval and Renaissance, we spent a large proportion of our time in the Museum (when not having coffee that is) on the Second Floor where the majority of the space is laid over to arms and armour from early times to the renaissance including the pretty famous Pavia display.

I was very impressed with the model making and the various miniatures showing types of armour and so on. I would think that making a full set of 15th Century armour in all it's detail and individual pieces would be far harder than making a full sized suit.

The museum itself is a reasonably interesting building and won several awards when constructed and on a fairly windy and a bit cold Friday at the beginning of May was a surprising pleasant place to while away an afternoon.

Looking around the museum at the surrounding urban aquatic scene things there were pretty interesting too, with working canal locks in use and water taxi's plying the waters around barges, it was quite interesting.

Looking out on the 'street' however was another matter, where looking out for terrain idea's (as you do) I was struck that the very quiet ways around the museum actually looked quite 'model-like'. That's urban planning for you I suppose.

Doesn't look real, does it?

In any event, the trip was thoroughly enjoyable and worth waiting for a repeat visit and the fact that the Museum is free is quite amazing and the shop (which sells wargaming (Mainly Warlord Games) proceeds go to maintaining the Museum is surprisingly reasonable in prices and worth supporting.

 A good stop and a great way to finish our trip t' Yorkshire. No doubt we will return.


  1. Beautiful photos, interesting!

  2. It was almost six years ago to the day when I visited the Armoury. I was extremely impressed, to say the least! And now your pics make me want to get back to the UK again...!

    1. It is pretty good, its definitely worth a repeat visit Evan


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