Armour from Trinity Hospital Chapel, Leicester

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Armour and weaponry from the English Civil War (1642-1651) including:

  • Back plates
  • Breast plates
  • Gorget (neck plate)
  • Morion (type of helmet)
  • Zichagge (type of helmet)
  • Buckler with Vembrace (small shield attached to an arm guard)
  • Vembrace (arm guard)
  • Funerary Sword, featuring a painted wyvern on the hilt
  • Halberds

The collection also includes a silver chalice dating to 1670, currently on display in DMU's Heritage Centre alongside a selection of the armour.

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1330 Henry, 3rd Earl of Leicester and Lancaster, commissioned the construction of an almshouse and hospital to treat the poor and infirm of the city, to be built on land bordering the castle precinct. Originally called the Hospital of the Honour of God and the Glorious Virgin and All Saints, the institution became Trinity Hospital in 1614. Although the building was reconstructed in 1776 and again in 1901, the original medieval chapel can still be seen in Trinity House. In 1994 the old hospital premises were sold to DMU and a nearby site on Western Boulevard was purchased to provide comfortable housing for elderly people.

The armour in this collection was on display in the Chapel of Trinity Hospital for many years. It is likely to have been used for ceremonial purposes, or to have a connection to the nearby Magazine where it is known that armour and weaponry were stored during the English Civil War.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for general access. External researchers are advised to make an appointment with the Archivist.

Acquisition Information

Transferred to De Montfort University by the trustees of Trinity Hospital.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Items are in good condition, although extra care may be needed as items are heavy.

Archivist's Note

Catalogued by Gursharan Hayre, Graduate Champion, January 2018

Conditions Governing Use

Material may be copied for research purposes only, subject to copyright regulations and the condition of the material.

Corporate Names