Monday, 23 November 2015

Agincourt and The Tower of London

This weekend I ventured up to town to see the Agincourt exhibition at the Tower of London.

Despite having lived on the edge of London since '87 I've rarely done any of the obvious touristy things apart from some of the main museums.  I have visited the Tower once before but this was on a school trip from Glasgow back some time around 1978!  As I have a bit of a castle-fetish this always been a bit of an anomaly so the prospect is seeing the diorama and visiting the Tower seemed a good chance to tick it off my 'to do' list.

The Tower certainly isn't a cheap day out at £24 per ticket but certainly wasn't having any trouble packing in the tourists.  As I arrived there was a Yeoman guided tour about to start but as there were about 100 tourists surrounding him I decided I could probably manage by myself.  The layout is well signed and the walk around the walls and towers takes you through the history of the castle from it's  founding up to WW1. 

Traitor's Gate

The White Tower

The importance of the Tower means that the records are very detailed on the whole...for example in one tower it informed visitors specifically who was incarcerated in the room and why (John Baliol for example).  There was also a lot of preserved and poignant graffiti on the walls of the rooms/cells.

Medieval Toy Soldiers...probably purchased at Ye Games Wokshoppe

I decided to give the Crown Jewels exhibition a miss (partly because of the crowds but also as it holds little interest for a staunch republican!) and headed off to the White Tower which holds the Armoury collection and, after a lot of climbing, the Agincourt display.  The exhibition contains a number of artefacts from the 15thC and the Agincourt campaign and is interesting in it's own right but as a wargamer I was obviously keen to see the mass display of the Perry brothers work and it certainly doesn't disappoint.  The diorama consists of 4300 figures in a 3 x 4m display case.  Rather neatly they have incorporated some downward looking periscopes which give a figures-eye view of the battlefield.  The whole spectacle is very impressive and I liked some of the little touches around the edge of the field...I tried but failed to spot the wire bristles that had been used to represent arrows stuck in the ground...apparently they had put these in knowing they were unlikely to be visible to the audience but just because they felt they ought to!

There was no photography allowed in the exhibition due to some of the light sensitive items on display (written records etc) so here are some photos I sneakily took on my phone without a flash!!

Luckily I managed to come away without the urge to start a new period, although it's probably just as well the gift shop wasn't stocking any boxes of Perry Miniatures...actually they missed a trick there!  Mind you I do still have my Wars of the Roses figures to paint....


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed your trip to the tower. It is excellent, Mrs Kinch and I went there while we were on honeymoon. The Yeoman Warders were charming, the sights were excellent and the overall experience wonderful. We emerged more convinced monarchists then we went in - if such a thing were possible.

    The diorama looks top notch. Thank you for the sneaky photos.

  2. I would like to see that diorama, I especially like the revisionist look of the English deployment, but £24, maybe they will move it to Leeds and let us poor northerners get something for our tax dollars, it will be cheaper as well.

    1. Apparently that's where it's headed after the exhibition finishes in'll be based permanently in Leeds.