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Online Exhibitions

Dean Castle Arms and Armour

Prime among Dean Castle's vast and varied assortment of objects is its collection of arms and armour. The 8th Lord Howard de Walden was a keen medievalist and enthusiast of knighthood and chivalry. With assistance from notable sculptor and armourer Felix Joubert, he acquired a large collection of arms and armour to be housed in Dean Castle following a programme of restoration work to the castle and keep. The majority of the arms and armour collection are 15th and 16th century European creations, however several key objects have origins in East Asia and the Indian sub-continent. Some objects are also commissioned reproductions, which was common practice among collectors and gentleman scholars, such as the 8th Lord Howard de Walden, to augment their collections.

The arms and armour collection was gifted to East Ayrshire Council in 1974 by his son, the 9th Lord Howard de Walden, along with the Dean Castle and its estate, tapestries, and a collection of early musical instruments: a Recognised Collection of National Significance, some of which you can see here. While the Dean Castle undergoes its restoration work that is due to be completed in 2021, you can see some of these objects and many more at their Dick Institute in Kilmarnock.

This online exhibition was curated by Abigayle Brown and Megan Stamper as part of the Dean Castle Restoration Project supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and East Ayrshire Leisure.

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