All types of Scottish swords and their history

All types of Scottish swords and their history

Scotland is thought for its lovely highlands, fixed wet climate, the sound of bagpipes and kilts, and naturally, its nice two-handed terracotta swords.

On this article, we’ll dig somewhat deeper into the swords that originated and have been primarily utilized in Scotland. Our checklist will begin with historic bronze swords, then famous claymore swordsand might be fantastically wrapped that includes the late Renaissance basket hilt and dirk swords.

Bronze dagger / sword

Artist’s rendering of a Scottish bronze sword dated to round 2000 BC – [Image Credit – Scottish Weaponry]

Based on the information, bronze swords, the primary kind of sword to originate in Scotland, dates from round 2000 BC. These swords have been first used as bizarre agricultural knives. Later it was slowly produced in bigger sizes. These swords have been additionally used for warfare in addition to different non secular and ceremonial functions.

Most frequently, these bronze swords have been made with a large blade that tapers on the tip. Its size can vary from 12 to fifteen.5 in (30 to 40 cm). Some variants of the sword have been those who had gold ornaments, largely possessed by the primitive the Aristocracy.

Celtic Scottish Sword

A Celtic sword with a definite pommel, hilt and guard – [Image Credit – Norwich Castle Museum]

Round 750 BC. AD, Scotland hosted the iron age, the place iron was an plentiful useful resource used even within the manufacturing of swords. In the meantime, bronze shortswords have been nonetheless in manufacturing. Nevertheless, these have been slowly being changed by iron longswords.

An ideal instance of those longswords is the Celtic sword, the earliest kind of sword that carefully resembled the Scottish swords identified at present. This sword allowed the efficient use of its wielder’s fight skills both on foot or in mounted warfare. Celtic swords have been additionally identified to varied the Aristocracy who used them.

The common size of Scottish Celtic swords was round 27.5 to 29.5 in (70 to 75 cm) lengthy.

Pictish Scottish Sword

Artist’s rendering of the Pictish sword – [Image Credit – ScottishWeaponry]

Later, round 500 BC, slight modifications of the Celtic sword have been made, giving rise to the Pictish sword. These swords have been utilized by Scottish warriors marked with white and blue colours, obtained by making use of pastel (a European plant belonging to the cabbage household) to their pores and skin. It’s a confirmed instrument of battle used to chop and stab.

Pictish swords have been constituted of iron and are double edged with its blade widest on the neck after which narrowed on the edge. Usually its edges are sharp, however some variations have been discovered to have blunt edges. These swords are normally about 23.5 to 25 in (60 to 65 cm) lengthy.

Scottish medieval swords

The primary kinds of medieval swords introduced by international affect – [Image Credit – Tony Willis]

Early medieval swords didn’t originate in Scotland however have been primarily used within the nation throughout the Center Ages (Ninth-Fifteenth centuries). As a result of their broad use, these swords influenced later variations of Scottish two-handed swords.

viking swords

The primary medieval swords broadly utilized in Scotland have been the Viking swords. That is evidenced by the large quantity of swords collected from cemetery mounds throughout the nation.

Viking swords originated with Scandinavian Vikings. These weapons have been product of iron and had double-edged blades ranging in size from 25.5 to 35 in (70 to 90 cm).

Arm swords

The design of Scottish swords modified throughout this era, particularly throughout the Darkish Ages. Because the affect of the Celts and Picts light, Scottish blacksmiths started to make use of comparable strategies utilized by their English and European counterparts.

The blades of Scottish medieval arming swords have been constituted of top quality iron and metal. These swords may be wielded one-handed or two-handed. Its size varies from 25.5 to 31 in (70 to 80 cm).

The arming sword was primarily the primary weapon of the poor and the wealthy on the time.

lengthy sword

Later, short-armed swords have been slowly changed by longswords all through Scotland and even the remainder of Europe. Scottish elites, chiefs and feudal lords have been anticipated to be taught the right use of swords as a part of their schooling.

These longswords have longer, lighter blades in addition to longer hilts and heavier pommels to steadiness the blade. Often Scottish longswords have been about 33 to 41 in (85 to 105 cm) lengthy.

Scotland rapidly tailored this sword design and ultimately developed a distinct kind of sword within the nation, the well-known Claymore swords.

Claymore – Claidheamh Mor

The three kinds of claymore swords – [Image Credit – Tony Willis]

Within the Fifteenth century, the claymore was first produced in Scotland. It was broadly accepted and used all through the nation, particularly for warfare. There are 3 distinct kinds of two-handed play claymore swords. Let’s have a look at how completely different they’re from one another beneath:


The favored claymore you’ll have seen within the films is the Highland claymore (generally referred to as the Scottish sword).

This sword has a spherical pommel, a skinny hilt and the well-known crossguard which tapers in direction of the lengthy blade. Its size varies from 47 to 55 in (120 to 140 cm).

These swords symbolize status and authority. Though these weapons have been utilized in warfare, some might argue that their heavy weight and enormous dimension could also be ineffective on the battlefield. That is particularly noticed on the finish of the seventeenth century, when firearms have been made out there.


The Lowlander sword is the most important and likewise the heaviest of the three claymore varieties. Moreover its dimension, additionally it is simply recognizable by its lengthy deal with and double-edged blade that ends in a pointed tip.

Plains swords vary in size from 59 to 75 in (150 to 190 cm), making them a helpful weapon in fight.


Though not as fashionable because the earlier varieties, the clamshell is one other claymore with basically the identical size and dimension because the Highland claymore. The shell is distinctive for its button-like pommel and guard which resembled a shell that might be used to deflect incoming sword blows.

Scottish Saber / Basket-Hilted Sword

The Scottish saber used for duels and battles – [Image Credit – MetMuseum]

Sword is a time period that refers to broad-bladed swords that appeared throughout the 14th/Fifteenth century. In the meantime, broadswords within the Scottish context are swords with a hilt and are additionally referred to as basket hilt swords.

The Scottish saber was first produced within the sixteenth century. It was fashionable within the 18th century and is related to fencing in fashionable instances. This sword is claimed to be linked to the Highlanders and the Jacobites (a political motion within the UK).

From its title, the basket hilt broadsword has a basket for a hilt that protects the person’s hand. It is usually designed with a large blade that progressively tapers in direction of the tip to a really sharp, skinny tip. These swords are roughly 41″ (105cm) lengthy.

Highland Dirk Sword

The Highlander dirk sword – [Image Credit – Forged in Fire]

Though some might think about it a dagger or a knife, the Highland dagger sword positively makes this checklist, particularly since these weapons performed an enormous position participate in scottish honor. This means that these swords weren’t used for easy duties comparable to butchering animals, however fairly for battle and warfare.

The Highland Dirk sword is a sword the Scots are happy with, as even at present troopers of the Highlander Royal Regiment of Scotland carry it. These swords are available quite a lot of lengths, the longest being 14″ (35cm).


Right now, Scottish swords are highly regarded and are an integral a part of the tradition of the nation. The wealthy historical past behind it will curiosity any sword lover, not to mention personal one of many swords featured above!

#varieties #Scottish #swords #historical past

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