Shields

Viking and Saxon age battle ready shields. Made to order within a month.

Have a Viking shield made to your own specs handmade by Phil using traditional tools and materials, the wood is planked out traditionally by Phil. The shields are riveted traditionly for strength and shiplap joints are hand carved for each board for a perfect fit & strength, shields where oftern just butted up together but the strongest of shilds would of had joins.

Felled, planked, joined and made with no travel for the timber. All the lime comes within ten miles of Battle, East sussex.

These are not plywood shields

Plywood wasnt available in the viking/Saxon age, its heavier than linden wood and splinters badly as its not fiberous like lime wood. Our Sheilds are edged with thick rope covered with raw hide, joined with shiplap joints and backed on both sides with canvas.

The shield will come battle ready, made from linden wood (lime) a number of different woods that have been used thought-out history for shield making include lime (linden wood) willow, aspen and pine. The shields are 1/2 inch thick as standard and not tapered. (If you want your shield tapered to save a minimal amount of weight please specify in an email.) Edged with thick raw hide for protection and backed.

The handle is English Ash for strength and hand carved and traditionly riveted to the shield. A hand forged, hammer raised shield boss, made from heavy 2mm steel. The shield comes with a thick leather strap to wear over the shoulder and back as standard with two hand carved reinforcement bars on the back of the shield. Meaning that including the handle theres three supporting bars on the shield for maxium strengh.

These shields are made for battle as traditionly as possible, under the raw hide edge theres thick rope for extra protection from blows. lime is light but very fiberous so wont spilter. Dont settle for plywood when your other gear is so authentic! These shields are made for combat, they can be backed on both sides with canvas for maximum strength. Viking era shields weighed around 7lbs to 15lbs, we work within these weights ensuring maximum strength whilst still enabling the combatant to wield the shield. All our shields typically come in under 10lbs and on arverage are 7-8lbs.

 

The history of Viking age shields

A few shields have survived from the Viking age, notably the shields from the Gokstad ship, which date from the 10th century. The ship was equipped with 32 shields, several of which survive intact. They were made from a single layer of planks butted together, with no iron bands, and the fronts were painted black and yellow. Typical Viking shields were 30-36 inches in diameter. Some were larger, such as the Gokstad shields, which were 37in across. Based on surviving remnants, some shields appear to have been as small as 28in in diameter. Presumably when a man made a shield for himself, he sized it to fit his body size and fighting style. A shield needs to be big enough to provide the desired protection but no bigger. A shield too small exposes additional lines of attack that an opponent might exploit, while a shield too large slows the defensive responses and exhausts the fighter unnecessarily. All the surviving examples are made from solid butted planks, although literary evidence, such as the 10th century Frankish poem Waltharius, and the Gulaþing laws, suggests that shields were made of laminated wood. No archaeological evidence supports this style of construction during the Viking era in Norse lands. Surviving shields are made from spruce, fir, or pine. Again, literary evidence contradicts and suggests that shields were made with linden wood (Tilia, commonly known as basswood in North America). The word lind (linden) is used to mean “shield”. Linden certainly has advantages over other species of wood for shield use. It is lightweight and does not split as readily under impact as do other types of wood. It is also similar to willow which the Saxons preferred as its a very fibrous wood, meaning the boards held together after impacts.

Planked Plain Shield Black
Battle ready Viking Age shield made to order. The shield will come battle ready, made from linden wood (lime) a number of different woods that have been used thought-out history for shield making include lime (linden wood) willow, aspen and pine
Planked Shield Quartered
Battle ready Viking Age shield made to order.The shield will come battle ready, made from linden wood (lime) a number of different woods that have been used thought-out history for shield making include lime (linden wood) willow, aspen and pine.
Planked Shield With Hand Painted Symbols
Battle ready Viking Age shield made to order. The shield will come battle ready, made from linden wood (lime) a number of different woods that have been used thought-out history for shield making include lime (linden wood) willow, aspen and pine.

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