The crossbow was a feared weapon on the medieval battlefield. At close range, no plate armour could withstand a heavy bolt. In fact, contemporary literature suggests that the knights and men-at-arms of the period, ‘called upon Heaven to witness that it was dishonourable warfare to employ such weapons in battle.’ (Sir Ralph Payne-Gallwey, The Book of the Crossbow).
This fantasic collection iron cropssbow bolt dates to the 13th to 15th centuries A.D. displaying a square cross-sectioned neck tapering to a diamond cross-section blade.
Presented on a plinth of oak, the tang on these bolt heads suggests they have a continental European origin (where the crossbow was favoured over the longbow).
Read about the evolution of medieval crossbow bolts and arrowheads here
MEDIEVAL CROSSBOW BOLT
Acquired by Timeless on the UK Antiquities market, 2017. Formerly in a private collection formed in the 1980s.