Celtic Swords and Helmets


The Celts fought in battle with swords or spears and they used shields. Sometimes they wore armour (they probably invented chain mail), including helmets. For a period Celtic warriors actually fought naked - perhaps to show how brave they were, or to be able to move around easily.


Sometimes they used lime to make their hair white and to stick it up in spikes. The idea was to look like an angry animal, to scare their enemy. Perhaps this is why modern day punks do the same thing!


On this page you can see some examples of Celtic swords (including replicas) and helmets, and some of the other gear they used.


Replica of a Celtic sword





Bronze helmet, resembling a jockey's cap

- but the 'peak' was worn at the back to protect the neck.

Dates from just after the Roman conquest (AD43).



Sword handles - from France and Britain


Sheath of the Wittenham sword, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

With typical Celtic designs.



Roman carving showing a naked Celtic warrior


Bronze horned helmet found in the River Thames near Waterloo Bridge, London.

Dates to 1st century BC. At first this was thought to be a jester's cap!


Celtic helmet in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford


Helmet with intricate design. Made of bronze and iron with gold covering.

It has a peak over the neck like the one to the left, but smaller.

Dates to around 3rd century BC.


Modern painting showing a Celtic chieftain (French) with helmet, chain mail armour, sword, and shield.

Behind is a British Celtic warrior with his hair limewashed.






Terracotta model of a Celtic warrior with oval shield