The Tourney Longsword

∴ A Glorious Day∴

The chatter of the waiting crowd hits you like honeyed wine as you dance back and forth in the shade of the stable stall. It is a glorious day – bright with bunting, ripe with the scent of sweetmeats and the taste of dust churned up by horses’ hooves. And it is yours for the taking.

Brimming with nervous energy, you shrug your shoulders and shake out your hands, warming yourself up for the oncoming fight. It may well be your first tournament, but you intend to show like a veteran. For months you have been preparing for this moment, training for six hours every day, keenly practicing your cuts and parries, and your sweeping bow to the Lord and his Lady.

For this will be the day that they know your name, the day that they see you at last – not a second son of a parochial lordling, but a knight worthy of their retinue! Worthy, perhaps, of their daughter’s hand. You peep out over the stall door to see her sitting atop the podium in a gown of summer gold, her hands moving excitedly as she shares some story with her ladies.

A blast of trumpet fanfare brings you sharply to your senses, and a squire throws open the door, gesturing for you to step forward. Taking a deep breath, you draw your longsword and burst forth to rapturous applause. Your eyes scan the crowd, taking in the beaming faces, the fine garb, the flurry of clapping hands. Then they fly to the stall door on the other side of the ring, and your stomach churns.

Stepping through the swinging door is a giant of a man, fully armoured and bedecked in blue and yellow plumes. His sword is nearly the same height again, its particoloured grip bright between gauntleted hands. For a moment you dare to think that the weight of such a sword might stand in your favour, but as you watch it arc through the air in a graceful cut, your hopes are dashed.

You stare dumbfounded at the mighty apparition, your mind reeling, until a second trumpet sounds, and that great blade swings up once more to face you.

∴ Specs ∴

This formidable sword sits somewhere between a longsword and a greatsword, made for a tall wielder, and scraping the upper limit of the length for a longsword. Our client requested a sword that would match his stature while still allowing him to safely drill and spar with partners. The challenge was therefore to reduce the weight wherever possible, and to give the piece the manoeuvrable balance of a longsword with just a hint of the “grete sword of warre” about it.

Chris took his inspiration from an original greatsword found in the Wallace collection, and a cutting-centric longsword that he handled at the Royal Armouries. He started with 8mm stock, allowing him to create a strong distal taper that took some weight off the exceptional length, and allowed the sword to pull like a longsword.

The result moves with authority, particularly in sweeping cuts, yet remains nimble enough to use in one hand at a pinch. It is ideal for cut-centric German style longsword fencing, and will excel in the moves laid out in Meyer’s treatise. It is also a willing partner for montante drills, with its sweeping balance lending itself to those large rotational actions.

The sword’s grip is dyed and hand-painted in twisted heraldic colours of blue and yellow, taking on the aspect of a painted lance in a Medieval tournament. It is this vision of a tall and vibrantly garbed knight in the ring, awaiting his opponent with his enormous sword at his side, that inspired the longsword’s name.

A similar longsword could be commissioned for £1000 plus postage.

  • Total length: 141cm
  • Blade length: 110cm
  • Blade width at shoulder: 5.5cm
  • Blade stock: 8mm
  • Quillon span: 26cm
  • Grip length: 25cm
  • Grip and pommel: 30cm
  • Point of balance: 15cm
  • Weight: 1850g
  • Ambidextrous

∴ Notes ∴

The hand-forged and heat-treated guard pommel are blackened to a matte finish. The simple crossguard features a slight downturn and flattened, flaring quillons. The wheel pommel is capped with a brass peening block.

The oak grip is wrapped first in linen thread, then in deep blue kidskin, finished with a painted yellow twist.

∴ Gallery ∴

Seeking a taste of tournament glory? Contact us to share your vision.