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The minimum requirement for any member of the Society on a battlefield is a steel or hardened leather skull cap which may be concealed within an authentic hat. This must be safe for the wearer and their opponent, and must be well secured to prevent its loss during combat. Visible helmets must comply with the Society authenticity requirements.

There are four main types of helmet:

  • Domed helmets, including the 'spectacle helmet' and the Coppergate helmet (restricted to the ninth and earlier tenth centuries);
  • Conical helmets, including the common 'spangenhelm', which are found from the fourth to the twelfth centuries;
  • ‘Chimney-pot’ helmets (restricted to Rus Vikings 990-1100 only);
  • Concealed helmets (skull-caps etc under a hat or hood).

Later period helmets are covered separately.

Chronology of helmets
Item Earlier 9th C (c.793-850) Later 9th C (c.850-900) Earlier 10th C (c.900-970) Later 10th C (970-1020) Later 11th C (1050+)
‘Coppergate’ style / boar crested helmets England only Rare – discouraged Should not be used
Helmets with metal cheek-flaps Uncommon Rare - discouraged Should not be used
High domed helmets Acceptable Uncommon Should not be used
‘Spectacle’ domed helmet Viking only - Acceptable Viking only - Uncommon Should not be used
Maille face ventails Should not be used Characteristic of 7th century Vendel period Full Rus kit only - Rare, discouraged
‘Chimney-pot helmets’ Should not be used Full Rus kit only - Rare, discouraged

Helmet construction

Since helmets are mandatory safety equipment for combatants, they must conform to the Society's minimum standards for arms and armour. If there are questions over a helmet's construction, please contact the Society Armourer.

  • Please note that helmets made out of leather are actively discouraged. A spangenhelm with panels made from thick leather may be acceptable, but if you are considering a skull-cap made entirely made from leather, we would suggest you opt for a concealed helmet under a hat or hood instead.

Logo.gif Official Society Rules on Head Protection

  • Head protection must be worn by anyone entering the arena during combat displays at shows, or otherwise participating in any form of combat at “The Vikings” events.
  • Any combatant under the age of 18 must be identified by a white band around their Head Protection.
  • The minimum requirement for Head Protection is a steel helmet / hardened leather skull cap, or other non-authentic materials (e.g. bump cap shell) concealed within an authentic hat, hood or wimple.
  • All protective headgear must confirm with SAR.
  • Head Protection must be well secured to prevent loss during combat.
  • No spikes (like on the Gjermundbo helmet) 'sharp' or rounded are allowed on the battlefield.


This category has only the following subcategory.


Pages in category ‘Helmet’

The following 9 pages are in this category, out of 9 total.