Pavise Shield

The Pavise shield was among the most common medieval shields used on the battleground. This shield was mainly used by infantrymen, in particular crossbowmen. It was much larger compared to other medieval shields and its large size was for the purpose of protection. Its name was derived from Italian city of Pavia from where it was first made.

Definition of a Pavise Shield

The Pavise shield was also known as the “wall shield” because of its large size. It could be made to stand upright on the ground and act as a protective wall for the crossbowman while loading. Without the protection of this large Pavise shield, the crossbowman was very vulnerable to incoming arrows.

  • The Pavise Shield was used mainly by medieval infantry such as crossbowmen
  • The benefits of the Pavise Shield was that is large size gave extra protection to archers
  • The Pavise Shield was also known as the “Wall Shield” due to it’s large size
  • Crossbowmen often used the Pavise Shield like a defensive wall while they reloaded their weapons
Large Pravise Shield

Large Pavise Shield used by Crossbowmen provided excellent cover for medieval archers

How was a Pavise Shield Used?

Other than its use on the battleground, the Pavise shield was among those medieval shields which were extensively used for attack and siege purposes. This was because the invading crossbowmen and archers could hide themselves behind the shield while making advances and loading their weapons along the way.

What Soldiers used Pavise Shields?

The Pavise shield was among those medieval shields which were specifically reserved for infantrymen like crossbowmen and archers. This was because, unlike the swordsmen, the crossbowmen and other archers needed to load their weapons at regular intervals during which they needed to defend themselves against the incoming assault of arrows.

Pavise Shield Summary

One of the most common types of medieval shields was called Pavise shield which was used by crossbowmen and archers. This was a large shield usually measuring 4 to 5 feet and had a rectangular shape that covered the entire body. The crossbowmen could hide behind the shield while loading his weapon.

  • The Pavise Shield could stand upright and protect soldiers from incoming arrows
  • Pavise Shield was used mainly for attacking of a medieval castle and other attacking purposes
  • The Pavise Shield was very big and could be around 5ft in height that gave great cover
  • Medieval infantry like Crossbowmen and other Archers used the Pravise shield, it was not popular with swordsmen
Back and Front of Pavise Shield , The Pavise shield offered excellent cover for medieval archers

Back and Front of the medieval Pavise Shield

This article gives you facts and information on the Pavise Shield, it is one of a number of pages on medieval shields, if you would like to learn more about shields similar to the Pavise Shield, please see the links to other shield pages at the foot of this Pavise Shield page.

The Pavise Shield was a large defensive shield that was used by medieval infantrymen like archers. The Pavise Shield offered great protection to infantrymen such as archers as they reloaded, rested or regrouped.


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