There were various types of medieval Helmet which in it’s most basic description was armour or protection for the head. Early medieval helmets were made from a mix of leather and metal additions. Later medieval helmets were more commonly made from metal commonly iron and similar materials, leather covered in mail was also common.
The Vikings and Normans liked to use a conical shaped helmets with a metal piece that protected the nose area which were called Spangenhelms. There were numerous types of medieval helmet some were made from a piece of metal others several pieces were joined together.
Around the 12th Century a cylindrical helmet that had a flat top called the Helm became popular and visors covering the entire face started to appear. Scull caps and kettle hats became popular in later medieval periods.
Medieval knights of later medieval times wore the Great Helm which protected the head and neck. The Black Prince was a famous medieval knight who wore the Great Helm. Medieval Helmets were heavy, hot, uncomfortable to wear, restricted breathing and the senses and were usually only donned at the last minute before battle.
Medieval Helmets A to Z List
Late Medieval Helmet with visor skull shaped cap made from one piece of metal, it protected the lower face and nape of the neck. A pointed visor could be raised or lowered. It had a beak like apperance with it’s origins in Italy.
Helmet to fit the skull in a basic design, various designs and shapes were produced with or without visor, later versions with visors would be called Great Bascinets and were popular in later medieval times. Records from late 12th century indicate they were worn by lower ranking soldiers including archers
A tight fitting helmet that was open at the front, protected the sides of the face. origins France Burgundy Region. Commonly worn with an added visor. Another name for this helmet is the Sallet. A lightweight helmet commonly used by Pikemen in the early modern part of medieval times.
The Crusader helmet refers to a type of helmet that was worn during the crusades by religious orders of knights such as the “Knights Templar”. The Crusader helmet was designed for maximum protection. For this purpose, it was heavily built and made from iron, weighing as much as 10 pounds. The helmet was usually flat-topped and had tiny slots for the eyes and mouth. These eye slots were called occulariums.
The Kettle hat was worn by the common foot soldiers in the 12th and 13th century. Kettle hats had a wide brim that was similar to a sun hat. The Kettle hat protected the head from downward blows and could be worn over a chainmail coif.
The Sallet was a helmet worn in the late medieval period, popular in Germany and Italy in the 15th century. The Salet had a visor and sloping back part that protected the neck. The Sallet Helmet was often combined with the Bevor to also provide protection for the neck and throat.
The Spangenhelm was a conical shaped helmet that was popular in the central middle ages. The Spangenhelm was constructed on a frame and had a metal rim, it was made with metal plate or sometimes horn. A nasal part to protect the nose could be added with rivets or be part of the original design.
Time Period: 6th-9th century
Location: Europe, Central Asia
Common Construction: Bronze, Iron, Steel
Popular in the central medieval periods
The word Visor comes from the Old France word “Vis” which means Face. The Visor covered an opening in the helmet and could usually be lowered or raised to allow the knight to be able to breath better and cool the face.
The visor was usually raised or lowered when a knight was not engaged in battle. Visors were usually hinged at the side. Visors were lowered for battle. Visors were popular in the 14th century. The pig face bascinet was a popular visor design during this medieval period.