The Westgate Museum lets children join the cavalry

What does it feel like to wear a Civil War helmet and armour? Children can find out by trying on new Tudor and Stuart armour at the Westgate Museum which reopens for the season on 1 February 2006. Winchester City Council's museums services has commissioned replicas of originals which can now be seen on display in the museum.

The replicas are of a Spanish cabacete helmet - a design dating from the time of the Spanish Armada, an English Civil War cavalry helmet - sometimes known as a lobster-tailed pot helmet, and a child-sized breastplate and backplate with a uniform coat.

Sher Kent of the museums service said, "We know how much interest there is in the Civil War, especially after the full-scale re-enactment of the Battle of Cheriton last summer. We thought this would be a fun and educational addition to our hands-on activities for families in the Westgate, particularly with the return of the Sealed Knot to the Westgate Museum for a Civil War siege on 12 February."

Cllr Therese Evans, Portfolio Holder for Culture, Heritage and Sport, commented, "These items are historically accurate representations of the originals and I am very pleased the museums services has added this new fun activity for younger visitors to the Westgate".

The armour is available to try on during the Westgate museum opening hours

Open: Feb-Mar, Tue-Sat, 10am-4pm, Sun, 12noon-4pm
Apr-Oct, Mon-Sat, 10am-5pm, Sun, 12noon-5pm
Closed: Nov-Jan
Admission: free

Access - Up steep stone stairs with handrail