The Royal Armouries is the United Kingdom’s Museum of Arms and Armour and the oldest museum in Britain. Visitors were first allowed entry to the Tower of London to admire the arsenal there after the restoration of King Charles II in 1660. The museum’s collection has grown throughout the ages, swelled by technological and military advances, and the Tower of London became too small the house the exhibits. In 1996 a new museum was purpose built in Leeds to house the Royal Armouries Museum, and in 2004, expanded yet further with a museum in Louisville, Kentucky thanks to a unique collaboration with the Frazier International History Museum. Between these various establishments the Royal Armouries collection contains some 70,000 examples of arms, armour and artillery dating from antiquity to the present day, including the royal armours of the Tudor and Stuart kings, arms and armour of the English Civil Wars as well as Oriental arms, hunting and sporting weapons and a collection of fine and decorative arts.

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