The Royal Armouries Museums

A photograph of a collection of armours at the Royal Armouries in Leeds, Yorkshire. Various mannequins wear the armour used by men-at-arms of the time and are equipped with spears while riding on fake model horses.

Direct Access has provided accessibility consultancy for all three of the Royal Armouries Museum sites, including Leeds, London, and Portsmouth respectively.

Our consultants determined how disability access and interpretation of exhibits could be improved across the three sites, which each host a selection of the UK’s National Collection of Arms and Armour.

The commission saw us deliver comprehensive accessibility consultations of the White Tower in London, Fort Nelson near Portsmouth, and the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds, with the aim of increasing museum access for people with different types of disabilities.

Following the completion of accessibility audits by their internal team, Direct Access subsequently hosted accessibility consultations with the public, allowing local disability communities in London, Portsmouth, and Leeds the opportunity to discuss improvements to museum sites important to them, informing our final report. From exhibit interpretation to event curation,  delivery of pre-visit information, to restroom facilities, to egress strategies.

The Royal Armouries Museum are custodians to the United Kingdom’s national collection of arms and armour, national artillery collection, and national firearms collection. 

It is also one of the largest collections of historic arms and armour in the world. The London site, the White Tower at the Tower of London, also preserves the Tower of London’s history.

A photo of Steven Mifsud poses for a photo on a sunny day with the White Tower in London in the background

Direct Access Director Steven Mifsud MBE said of improving interpretation for the historic sites;

“I think I speak on behalf of the entire team when I say that we are all truly honoured to have improved visitor connection for the providers of what is surely one of most impressive collections of military history in the world”.

“We wanted to ensure that these museum sites can continue to do their work preserving and safeguarding these important collections for generations to come. Our job was simply to ensure that the history contained within these museum sites can be learned from and enjoyed by even more people as we work to make them as accessible as we possibly can”.

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