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This is a transitional helmet from approx. 1180 AD. It is made from combat grade 18 gauge steel – in many places it is double this thickness. It has a leather liner and chinstrap. It will fit any individual with up to a 62cm hat size (large). An individual with a smaller head circumference (57cm) will be able to get a thin arming cap beneath this. It weighs approx. 2 kg.
This type of helmet was popular throughout much of the 12th century. They were mostly superseded by other designs which offered neck protection - or simply replaced due to the dictates of new military fashions. This helmet harked back to an earlier more barbaric period, having much in common with riveted Viking ocular helmets. Conversely, the grill on the faceplate was a new innovation, leading to a variety of new helmet types in the proceeding century. Hence the name “Transitional”.
This helmet has much to please the re-enactor. Firstly, it looks menacing: a fact which would not have been lost upon the original wearers. I would not describe the air-flow as “good” because this implies there is some restriction, whereas in actuality the air flow is as free as any open-faced helmet. The protruding faceplate does not seem to inhibit breathing at all, accordingly, it lacks the claustrophobia and stuffiness of later (larger, more encompassing) helmets. Vision is also extremely good, peripheral vision is blocked, but the design does allow for reasonably clear downward vision. Despite these ‘open’ qualities, the wearer’s nose, eyes and mouth are robustly protected.
This is a solid helmet with quality leather liner. The face plate has good visibility. It sits forwards allowing good air flow and easy breathing. The ears are left open which allows for good hearing even when worn with a padded coif. In addition there is also ample room for safety or normal glasses. Carl Inverell Re-enactment Society on 10th Dec 2018