Medieval Knights

Medieval Knights were armed and mounted warriors who fought for Lords during the medieval period and usually came from wealthy families, they had an important place in medieval society which followed class rules dictated by the Feudal system

Medieval Knights were the armoured warriors of medieval times who fought on horse-back, they usually trained from an early age of around 7 years until they were in their early twenties. When they had mastered all the skills needed they were knighted in a dubbing ceremony.

Due to the costs involved in training to become a Medieval Knight and the dedication involved, it was deemed to be of high honour to be a knight in medieval society. The title of Knighthood was tied in with the status of nobility and basically meant that you were a trained nobleman that was ready to serve a Lord or king in battle.

Becoming a Knight

Becoming a Knight was a long process that started at around seven years of age, a page would become a Squire and a Squire would eventually becoming a knight in a dubbing ceremony around the age of 21. Read more about the Becoming a Knight >>

Famous Medieval Knights

Edward The Black Prince was one of the most famous Knights in medieval History

Tales of Famous Medieval Knights were told throughout medieval times, Some of the most Famous Medieval Knights of medieval times were King Arthur, Richard the Lion-heart and The Black Prince Read more about the Famous Medieval Knights >>

Knights Coat of Arms

Knights Coat of Arms

The knightly coat of arms began to be used in early Middle Ages when knights began using specific symbols on their shields during battles. This was primarily done by the knights to identify themselves during fighting Read more about the Knights Coat of Arms >>

Knights Code of Chivalry

The code of Chivalry for Knights was introduced around the 11th century, it was a code of conduct that knights adhered to during medieval times Read more about the Knights Code of Chivalry >>

Medieval Knight Knighthood

Dubbing Ceremony A Medieval Knight and Knighthood

A Medieval Squire only became a knight and received his Knighthood if he was able to live by specific rules of knighthood and codes of conduct Read more about the Medieval Knight Knighthood >>

Medieval Knight Shield

Collection of medieval Knights Shields

A medieval Knights shield was an essential piece of armoury for a medieval Knight, A medieval Knights shield was mainly used for defence but could also be used as a weapon. Read more about the Medieval Knight Shield >>

Medieval Knights and Castles

Medieval knights rushed to the entrance of castle

Medieval Knights had a close link to medieval castles due to the protection they offered to the Castle Lords, it os hard to think of a medieval knight without an image of a medieval castle coming to mind. Read more about the Medieval Knights and Castles >>

Medieval Knights Armor

Medieval Knights wore full plate armor which distinguished them from other medieval soldiers and the armor of a Knight was a mark of honour and helped protect them in battle.   Read more about the Medieval Knights Armor >>

Medieval Knights Clothing

Medieval Knights in their best clothing before the medieval king

Medieval Knights clothing displayed the colours, coat of arms and emblems which helped to distinguish a medieval knight from other knights Read more about the Medieval Knights Clothing >>

Medieval Knights Feudalism

Medieval Knight and The Feudal system

Medieval Knights helped to enforce the feudal system in medieval times by providing the military force that was needed to keep the system in place. Read more about the Medieval Knights Feudalism >>

Medieval Knights Helmets

Knights wore helmets to protect their heads from fatal blows, Knights helmets were also designed in many cases to scare and intimidate a foe Read more about the Medieval Knights Helmets >>

Medieval Knights Heraldry

Heraldry was used as a way to identify knights and Lords families, usually a coat of arms and emblems identified important families in medieval times Read more about the Medieval Knights Heraldry >>

Medieval Knights History

Medieval Knights History

The history of Medieval knights has its roots in the ancient world but the actual phenomenon became popular during the middle and late medieval times Read more about the Medieval Knights History >>

Medieval Knights Jousting

The medieval Jousting contest was the main event of a medieval tournament, it was important for a medieval knight to win his joust as there were always very important people watching jousting competitions. Read more about the Medieval Knights Jousting >>

Medieval Knights Sword

Knight Sword being drawn for battle

A Medieval Knights swords was a vital part of a knights armoury that symbolised his standing in medieval society and knighthood. A medieval Knight sword that represented the honour and chivalry. Read more about the Medieval Knights Sword >>

Medieval Knights Warhorse

Powerful Medieval Knights WarHorse wearing a suit of armour

A medieval knights warhorse had to be brave and strong and were trained to fight by biting and kicking the enemy and it was a frightening presence on the battlefield. Read more about the Medieval Knights Warhorse >>

Medieval Knights Weapons

Medieval knights were the battle tank of medieval times, they used a wide range of weapons such as lances, morning stars, Maces and flails Read more about the Medieval Knights Weapons >>

Medieval Page Boy

A Page Boy would train to be a Squire under the guidance of knights and noblemen around the age of just seven years old as part of their training Read more about the Medieval Page Boy >>

Medieval Squire

MedievalSquire Getting Medieval Knight Ready For Battle

It took a medieval Squire years of hard work to become a medieval knight. Medieval Squires started there training around 14 years of age and were usually declared knights in a dubbing ceremony at the age of 21. Read more about the Medieval Squire >>

Medieval Tournaments

Medieval tournaments were the glittering social events of the medieval calender, the medieval tournament comprised of a mêlée mock battle and a jousting competition which was usually the main event. Read more about the Medieval Tournaments >>


Medieval Knights in Early Medieval Times

Knighthood in Europe was characterised by the service you provided as a warrior who was mounted, Feudalism and service as a mounted warrior, especially during the rule of Charlemagne who was the Frankish emperor in the 8th century. During the 12th century, knighthood was closely associated with horsemanship and later during the 15th century, it was fashionable and gave high status amongst high nobility in the Duchy of Burgundy.

However, it was in the 12th century when knighthood became more of a social rank providing a distinction between non-noble cavalrymen (milites gregarii) and the true knights (milites nobiles). The easiest way to become a knight in medieval times was simply by being a son of a noble, one of the highest classes of medieval society. However, becoming a knight did not happen overnight, It usually involved a lengthy process of training and exploits that involved the mastery of many weapons. In the late middle ages, knighthood was commonly associated with a code of conduct and chivalry.

medieval-knight-animated-gif-36The Life of a Medieval Knight

Becoming a medieval knight was a long process. Mostly, sons of noble men were taken from their homes at the early age of seven to start their training. They started out as a page and later become squires before eventually becoming knights. Medieval knights practiced their skills during tournaments and in various forms of combats including Jousting, hand to hand combat with the use of swords and other weapons, as well as archery.

The medieval period was characterised by stories about Feudalism and medieval knights fought and served their Lords according to the Code of Chivalry. Knights were also expected to guard castles and support their liege Lords in times of war.

Training to be a Medieval Knight

Knights spent years training. They rode horses and mastered the use of a wide variety of weapons. Medieval knights also learned to read, write and speak different languages such as Latin and French and learned the rules of chivalry, honourable behaviour and even dancing.

At the age of seven they trained to become a page, at the age of 16, they become squires working for another knight and effectively apprentices to the Knight, they tended the knight’s horse, cleaned his weapons and even served his meals.

If the squire was worthy of becoming a knight and had passed all his year of training, they would go through what was called a dubbing ceremony where he would kneel before the lord of the manor with a sword held on his shoulder before he was proclaimed a knight.

Medieval Knights favourite weapons

The Knights favourite weapon was the Sword and most medieval knight swords weighed about 2 to 3 pounds. A shield was also one important part of a knight’s weaponry and warfare gear, however it was the sword that was the most important and major weapon used in battle by most medieval knights, they also carried other secondary weapons, either another sword such as the medieval Falchions, Pole-axes or both.

In early middle ages, knights used to wear chain mail instead of full metal armour. Medieval knights also wore helmets that had slits for eye holes and breathing holes.

Advantages of a medieval Knights armour

A medieval knight’s armour was extremely expensive as it was made of full metal. Armour was usually tailor-fitted to the knight wearing as the knight could be at risk if the armour did not fit very well. Armour was made of chain mail and iron plates, designed for battle. They also wore thick padding underneath to help ease painful effects of wearing heavy metal armour.

The knight’s armour offer several advantages and here are a few examples:

  • Armour was created to provide protection and this is one thing that knights can use to their advantage.
  • Armour was built to prevent weapons from penetrating the body. Opponents needed to aim at the weak points of the armour otherwise it would be impossible to cause damage to the knight.
  • Knights also wore armour as a status symbol that distinguished them from other low-ranking soldiers.
  • Some knights customised their armour to include their family crest. Their armours also help other knights identify knights who belong to the same unit.

Disadvantages of a Medieval knight’s armour

Despite all the advantages that the knight’s armour provided, it also has a few disadvantages.

  • Knight armour was heavy to wear, it normally weighed between 40 to 60 pounds and that was considered to be one of its greatest disadvantage especially during hand-to-hand combat.
  • Aside from being heavy, most knight armour was also bulky. This could cause a relatively smaller range of motion, thereby making it more difficult to move when engaged in combat.
  • Another disadvantage was is its lack of manoeuvrability. Movement while wearing an armoured suit was relatively limited due to its stiff joints.
  • Most knight armour was equipped with slits and holes for the eyes and the mouth for breathing. However, seeing and breathing through a piece of metal can still be difficult to do, especially when it covered the entire head like the armoured knights helmet did.

Quick facts about medieval Knights

  • Knights are mostly from noble families
  • Knights training usually starts at the age of 7 and ends at the age of 20 when they are proclaimed as knights.
  • Knights meet at a combined speed of 25 mph during jousting competitions
  • Fighting on piggyback introduces young knights to balancing and mounted combat skills
  • A knight is called a “Sir" at the end of the knighthood ceremony
  • Knights wear full-plated armour which was introduced during the 15th century
  • The knight’s warhorses were armoured and trained to kill, They are called Destriers.
  • Knights are bound to a code of conduct or code of chivalry

What led to the demise of the Medieval Knight

After centuries, the iconic medieval knights eventually declined. Knighthood has been brought down to strictly a title of honour and does not denote power at all in modern times.

Advancing medieval Technology brought about the development of several weapons such as the crossbow and the arbalest. These weapons would easily penetrate a knight’s armour and could bring them down in just a few seconds without the need to engage in one-on-one combat.

The development of other weapons such as guns brought the decline further as knights stood no chance even with their armours against guns and canons and this was the reason that led to the demise of the legendary medieval knight.

Share this: