Medieval armouring – the 15th century Italian gauntlet with Graham Ashford

Blacksmithing and metalworking

Ref: S4D11455

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About this course

Using a world renowned Italian design of the 15th century, recreate at least one gauntlet. Learn how to hot and cold shape the metal, rivet, use leather and oil blacken the final piece.

Course Description

This course is aimed at beginners or those with some basic metal working skills; introducing everyone to the skills required to size and make a working 15th century Italian style gauntlet.

The gauntlet you will be making was the product of approximately 150 years of near constant European warfare and represents, for many, a design that has never been bettered. Made from 3 or 4 interlocking plates that do not interfere with human movement it offers near complete protection. It offers the opportunity to make something truly historical and aesthetically wonderful that once represented the very pinnacle of science and military research.

Starting with a look at pictures of some original armour and a pair made by the instructor the course will teach you how to properly size patterns, shape, planish, clean and fix the plates creating an articulated, working piece of sculpture.

Depending upon your skill level, it is hoped that everyone will be able to finish one complete gauntlet. Any time left over will be used to start another gauntlet or the associated forearm defence (vambrace).

To allow for the required skill for the course and to ensure that there is enough time left, some parts of the build involving hand tools like power shears and grinders may be done by the instructor.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • All fuel costs, leather and metal required for the project.

What students need to bring

  • You will need clothing suitable for workshop use, together with steel toe capped boots. Please note that cotton or wool clothing is preferable to nylon or other synthetics. A pair of cotton jeans is far more protective than a pair of nylon trousers.
  • For your safety it is mandatory to wear steel toe capped safety boots when undertaking a course in the Forge. Students must provide their own footwear and bring them with them to wear on the course. If you fail to bring suitable footwear, you will not be able to take part in the course.
  • Safety boots can be purchased from most tool hire shops and builders merchants as well as online. Protective clothing supplied:
  • Leather aprons, work gloves, safety spectacles and ear defenders are provided in the Forge, and suitable protective clothing must be worn.
  • You may wish to bring any of the above, if you have them. If for example you have particularly large or small hands, your own work gloves are likely to be a better fit.
Please note: This course is held in the Forge which is 10 minutes walk from the main house through the walled garden, or can be accessed by car. We have morning coffee and afternoon tea at the Old Dairy but return to the main house for lunch. Please note that tutor supervision is required at all times when students work in the forge. The tutor’s instruction on health and safety will include access to and use of the power hammer. Potential students must be able to repetitively use light hammers and hold metal tongs in the other hand while standing at an anvil height and higher worktop. Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. You may need safety boots, if specified above.


Graham Ashford

A professional armourer since 2008. Graham won a QEST Scholarship apprenticing with Master Armourer David Hewitt at White Rose Armouries for 3 years. Working principally for reenactors, museums and collectors across the world. I have written pieces for historical periodicals and now work from my workshop in Fareham.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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