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

Ref: S4D13546

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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 introduces you to the skills required to size and make a working 15th century Italian style gauntlet, and is suitable for beginners as well as those with some basic metal working skills.

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 three or four 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.

You will start with looking at pictures of some original armour and a pair of gauntlets made by the instructor. You will then learn 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 you will be able to finish at least 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 tutor.


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 are provided.

What students need to bring

  • You will need clothing suitable for workshop use, together with steel toe capped boots. Please note that cotton or woollen 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. You must provide your own footwear and bring it with you 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.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A good variety of art and craft materials.

Additional information

Please note: This course will be in the Forge which is a 10-minute walk from the main house through the walled garden or can be accessed by car. As this course is held in the Forge, morning coffee and afternoon tea will be held in the nearby Carrington Studio. You will return to the main house for lunch. Please note that tutor supervision is always required when you are working in the Forge. You must be able to repetitively use light hammers and hold metal tongs in the other hand while standing at an anvil height and at a higher worktop. Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio. This includes safety boots.


Graham Ashford portrait

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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