You are currently viewing The Fascinating History of the Crusader Helmet

The Fascinating History of the Crusader Helmet

the Crusader Helmet

Is a fascinating example of the give-and-take between medieval Western European and Middle Eastern military and civilian culture. Darksword Armory’s flawless reproduction of this historic piece of head armor is built from mild steel, a material historically used by medieval blacksmiths.

Plate armor was worked ‘cold’ – the metal was hammered without being heated, thus allowing for precise shaping and ‘work-hardening’ of the crystalline structure that makes steel such a tough material.


the Crusader Helmet
the Crusader Helmet

Throughout history helmets have been one of the most important pieces of armor. They have had to take into account ease of sight, protection, weight and effectiveness in combating the main weapons of a particular enemy. The helmet has gone through several significant changes in design in order to keep up with enemies and technology as it evolved.

The knight’s helmet is probably one of the most familiar types of medieval armor in popular culture and is often used for depictions of medieval warfare. It dates back to antiquity, and by the end of the early Middle Ages, it had reached a very distinct shape with a visor or opening for the eyes. This style of helmet continued in use up until the 15th century, when it began to decline in favor of other styles.

One of the biggest reasons for this was that it obstructed a knight’s vision in battle and had little to no ventilation. This would lead to the helmet overheating and the knight being susceptible to blows to the head which were not blocked by the helmet. In addition, the helmet was heavy and slowed down the warrior when they were moving through the battlefield.

These problems led to a number of solutions for the helmet which were designed to address the issues of visibility, comfort and durability. For example, a snout bascinet was created which was similar to the armet but had a curved visor that allowed the knight to see better in battle. Another option was the bretache bascinet which consisted of an extremely long tapered steel nasal plate that was riveted to the top of a burgonet like the armet or close helm, giving the face much more protection.

These developments also allowed the helmet to be made from lighter materials and was able to be molded to fit the head for more comfort. A number of different crests and emblems could be added to the helmet as well for decoration. Our crusader helmet is a perfect example of this and is available for anyone who wants to add a truly authentic medieval feel to their costume. It would look great as a helmet for a medieval knight or even for an epic fantasy roleplay character.

the Crusader Helmet Styles

A helmet is the most important piece of armor for a knight, protecting their head against powerful blows from swords and other weapons. It should also provide a comfortable fit and a sleek, masculine look. During the Crusades, a wide variety of different designs were used. Some of these were more effective than others, but each had its advantages and disadvantages.

The first helms were flat-topped, like the modern spangenhelm or nasal helm. Eventually, the design shifted to something more like a primitive great helm. It covered the warrior’s entire head and offered some protection, but it restricted their vision and made them quite hot to wear. It was also not the easiest to communicate through.

This design remained in use for centuries, but eventually it was replaced by something with a much more curved shape. This new type of helm was called a bascinet. It was similar to the cervelliere, but it was used over a chainmail coif or aventail rather than worn alone. It could be worn with a full helmet to protect the warrior’s face and head, or it was used as a replacement for a great helm to offer more protection in certain situations.

It is difficult to trace the precise development of these helms, since they were used in such a diverse range of contexts over the course of the Middle Ages. Nevertheless, it is clear that this is a period when both Middle Eastern and Western European cultures gave themselves over to the creation of new military technologies. This is the kind of give-and-take that results in a truly remarkable range of helms and other types of armor.

Darksword Armory’s flawless Crusader Helmet is based on these transitional helms that were used between the 3rd and 5th Crusades. While it could be used as part of a realistic impression of a knight from the Crusades, it is also suitable for any knight in medieval European history up through the early 13th century.

The helm is crafted in mild steel, which is tough and functional. It will take the knocks of re-enactment, roleplay and light combat in its stride. However, occasional oiling is necessary to prevent rusting. It is a stunning addition to any armory, whether you want to depict the legendary knights of the Crusades, or any other medieval warrior from this remarkable period in European history.

the Crusader Helmet
the Crusader Helmet


Think of a typical chivalric knight of the medieval period, clad in full harness of shining plate armor riding his caparisoned charger, swords drawn, pennants flying. Chances are that you’re envisioning a knight wearing some kind of bascinet, a helmet with its origins in the Crusades – an era of warfare that lasted from the 11th century to the early 15th.

The most common type of crusader helmet is the Great Helm, which had its heyday from around the 6th Crusade through to the beginning of the Hundred Years War. Also known as a pot helm, bucket helm or barrel helm, it was one of the most depicted helmets in media and is often considered the quintessential Crusader helmet. It offered excellent protection against heavy blows to the head, piercing and other injuries, but was also quite bulky and limited the wearer’s peripheral vision.

To address these issues, later versions of the Great Helm were designed to be slightly curved on top. This was meant to lessen the force of a blow to the head and to mitigate the possibility of heavy blows that could cause a skull fracture or concussion. The curved top of the helmet was also made to prevent it from heating up quickly in the sun, which can happen with flat-topped helms when they are exposed directly to sunlight.

Our Knights Templar bascinet is crafted from mild steel, which is the same material that would have been used by the medieval blacksmiths who forged it to create its historical counterpart. Mild steel is an alloy of iron and carbon, which was once the most common metal for the construction of chivalric armor and helmets. However, the invention of large bloomeries in the 1200s CE enabled for a more refined steel to be produced, which eclipsed soft iron and began to be used by the majority of armorers.

Our Templar helmet can be worn to recreate a medieval knight roleplay character from any of the eras of the Crusades or, without the visor and elongated ‘snout’ shape, it can even be worn over a mail coif or aventail to portray a king or noble. Whether you’re using it for historical accuracy or for a more dramatic, sword-and-sorcery-inspired reenactment, it’s sure to bring an incomparable air of martial style to your battlefield.


When one thinks of a knight in shining armour, with a sword at their side or riding their caparisoned charger, it’s not uncommon to picture them wearing a crusader helmet. This style of helmet was worn by knights who were a part of the order of the Knights Templar, and it served as an essential symbol of the powerful Christian military order.

the Crusader Helmet
the Crusader Helmet

This helmet was designed to provide maximum protection for a warrior during battle. It was solidly constructed and only had a few small openings for air, making it nearly impossible to pierce. The helmet also had a nose bar to protect the nose. It was also very heavy, so it would slow down a warrior’s movement in battle. It could also block vision, which was a major disadvantage for a warrior in combat. This was one of the reasons why the knights began to wear a new type of helmet towards the end of the 15th century.

Our Crusader Helmet is made of mild steel, which is exactly the kind of material that medieval blacksmiths would have used to make their armor in the Middle Ages. This steel is made with a combination of iron and carbon, which gives the helmet a toughness and durability that would have pleased any medieval smith.

The visor on our helmet is cut out of the same type of steel as the rest of the helmet, so it has the same rugged look that you would expect from medieval armour. The metal edges of the helmet are rolled, which makes them harder to scratch or knock against and less likely to catch on clothing or other armor. The ventilation holes are authentically punched through the visor on our helmet and are all on the right-hand side of the head, just as they were on medieval helmets.

This helmet is the perfect addition to any collection of medieval armor, and it can even be used for role play or re-enactment. Its dramatic sword-and-sorcery appearance would bring a sense of the past to any costume, and it can even be worn without the visor over a chainmail coif or cervelliere to portray a king or noble.

Leave a Reply