Shields of the Medieval Knight


Here is a comprehensive listing of the various types of shields that were used during the medieval period. Many of these were carried by knights but they were not just part of the armament of mounted knights. Some types were used by infantry and ground troops. They have a long and interesting history. And... If you want to make your own medieval shield I have a couple of projects at the bottom of this page.




Types of Shields

  • Buckler - A small round shield often carried by infantry troops.
  • Heater Shield - A large shield that first appeared around 1270 AD. It takes its name because it was shaped much like the bottom of a flat iron.
  • Kite Shield - This was a large elongated shield that was rounded at the top and came to a point at the bottom. It was very common between the 10th and 13th centuries.
  • Parma - round shield used by the Roman Army.
  • Renntartsche - A very large shield that covered all of the wielders body. It was made of wood and leather and often reinforced with metal.
  • Scutum - A rectanbular and semi-cylindrical body shield carried by Roman legionnaires.
  • Targa- Generic word for Shield.

Parts of Shields

  • Boss - (also called an Umbo) A round center part of the shield that is reinforced and made for deflecting blows away from the center of the shield. Often made of wood or thick metal. these were mounted on round shields.
  • Bouche - a notch cut in the top of a shield to rest a lance in when jousting.
  • Enarmes - The straps inside a shield which an arm was passed into in order to carry the shield.

Drawing of the Types of medieval shields

Shields evolved over the centuries as technology and weapons evolved. They got stronger and lighter. One of the most important aspects of a shield was that it was often adorned with the crest of a knights family, order, or of the crest for his lord or king. This shows the Knights Templar Cross.


King Leonides spartan shield

300 Movie King Leonidas Spartan Replica Shield Pro New

Amazon currently has these great movie replica shields in stock but as of the creation of this link there are only 4 available in stock so take a quick peek and pick one up at a great price.


Knights templar ShieldKnights Templar Shield - Product Page at Amazon


Materials of Shields - Shields were originally made of treated leather. Later they were made of wood and often banded with metal for strength and to protect against hacking weapons.

The Art of Shield Building was always an arms race between the strength of the shield vs its weight.

The Types of Shields

  • Buckler: Was round and small
  • Scutum: large and rectangular shaped



Spartan ShieldMake a Spartan Shield

This is a great looking shield that is creative and easy to make. It looks just like the shields in the movie 300. Complete tutorial with video. How to make a Spartan Shield



Wizards Tower Make a Cardboard Shield
I have some nice tips and a tutorial on how to make a good looking cardboard shield. Make a cardboard Shield