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Becoming a Knight

A knight was an armoured warrior who fought on horseback. Knights swore an oath of loyalty to a baron, promising to fight for him when needed.


A boy who wanted to be a knight was taught to fight and behave properly from an early age. 

When he was older he became a squire. It was his job to serve a knight and follow him into battle.

If he proved himself worthy of the honour, a nobleman would then ‘knight’ the young man. As part of the feudal system, he was usually given some land with peasants and villages to look after. This was called a manor.


Medieval knights wore armour to protect their bodies. At first, most knights wore a coat of chainmail made of iron rings linked together in a mesh, which followed the movements of their body and stopped them getting hurt from sweeping sword strokes.

Armorsmith @ Castlefest 2011

As time went on, however, suits of armour made of overlapping sheets of steel became more popular as they: were lighter, were more effective at resisting arrows fired by longbows and they also looked nicer. Helmets were often modelled to the shape of a knight’s head and were fitted with a moveable visor that let them see clearly when fighting.