The Oakeshott Institute

a sword in hand...

promoting the interest in ancient arms and armor through hands-on educational experience


  • The Oakeshott camp was probably the best summer camp experience I've ever had, which is a testament to the fine people working there. I remember walking in on the first day and just being blown away by all the arms and armor, and everyday was a new adventure, whether I was allowed to put on armor or fight the other campers or make my own shield, it was always exciting. I can't actually describe in words the nostalgia I feel for this place. I have remembered and will continue to remember into the twilight of my life, the experiences I had at Oakeshott.

    Curran Hickey
  • If you like swords, you will love the Oakeshott Institute

    David Cameron Cross
  • Great Kids Program!

    Bryan Kirby

Our Camps: Adventures in Cold Steel!

Be a Viking headed to Valhalla! Storm a fortress in a Holy War! or test your metal as a Tournament Knight! Every summer, the Oakeshott Institute runs a series of summer, day camps for youth, ages 7 to 14. The camps are run by instructors trained in history, and the use of ancient and medieval arms and armor. Join us! Learn the history, handle real, ancient weapons and artifacts, make your own STEEL HELMET, and have loads of fun!

History & Mission

The Oakeshott Institute’s mission is to promote the interest in ancient arms and armor through a hands-on educational approach.

The Oakeshott Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was established by Christopher Poor in 2000. The Institute is named after the late Ewart Oakeshott, a leading authority on European arms and armor. Ewart spent a lifetime researching and collecting swords. His collection, now entrusted to The Oakeshott Institute, contains more than 75 pieces and spans nearly 4000 years of history including a sword from the First Crusade and a Scandinavian sword from the Bronze Age.

The Oakeshott Institute’s President, Christopher Poor, owns Arms & Armor, a business specializing in the replication of historic artifacts. He first met Ewart Oakeshott on a research trip to London in 1985. Their mutual passion for medieval armor led to a deep and lasting friendship.

As the relationship grew, Ewart and his wife, Sybil Marshall, expressed concern that when they were gone his life-long collection would be auctioned off, or worse, scattered and lost. Ewart was always delighted to share his boundless knowledge and his amazing collection. Sybil, an innovative educator, lecturer and novelist, shared his enthusiasm for learning and also collected artifacts. At their request, The Oakeshott Institute was conceived, and a trust was established to carry forward their love of ancient artifacts and the educational opportunities they present.

It was extremely important to Ewart and Sybil that the collection be available to future students, not just as relics behind glass but as living pieces of history. Ewart firmly believed that to truly experience the sword one needed to touch it. He would say “a sword is a sad, lifeless object – but hold it in your hands and it comes to life!” A major goal in forming the Institute was to provide a space where both scholars and the public could share in the unique experience of interacting with historical pieces.

Ewart Oakeshott died in 2002 at the age of 86. Sybil Marshall passed away three years later, at the age of 91. But their legacy lives on through the work and efforts of The Oakeshott Institute.

The Vision of Ewart & Sybil

Our Team

Ewart Oakeshott & Sybil Marshall

Ewart Oakeshott & Sybil Marshall


    The founders of this organization Ewart Oakeshott and Sybil Marshall were experts and scholars on the topic of arms and armor of the ancient and medieval periods, and life-long collectors. It is through their incredible generosity and vision, that we can bring their collection and knowledge to you.

    Christopher Poor

    Christopher Poor


      Chris has had a life-long interest in weapons and armor, reflected in his time spent as a professional jouster. This first-hand experience, plus scholarly research, provides a working knowledge of weapons and armor that few others achieve. It was through the mutual love of all things medieval that he developed a long friendship with Ewart Oakeshott, which in turn lead to the founding of the Institute. He is also the owner of Arms & Armor, one of the premier replicators of medieval weapons and armor, in the world.

      Bradon Foat

      Bradon Foat

      Curriculum Director

      Brandon Foat is the Curriculum Director of the Oakeshott Institute. He has over 15 years of experience in education, and currently is a history teacher for middle-school students. Brandon's curriculum contributions include content for the study of the medieval, Renaissance, and early modern periods. Brandon spends much of his free time teaching fencing, studying history and related weaponry, studying the martial traditions of the medieval and Renaissance periods, painting, and spending time with his family.

      Nathan Clough

      Nathan Clough

      Board of Directors

        Nathan is an Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of Minnesota, Duluth.
        He is also an official sword geek, deeply involved in research into Historical European Martial Arts, as well as World Martial Arts.

        Craig Johnson

        Craig Johnson


        Craig has been the production manager at Arms & Armor for over 30 years, has written many articles on the topic of weapons & armor, instructed classes on the use of various weapons, and has been the secretary of The Oakeshott Institute for over 16 years.

        Articles & Research

        Drink for a Cause Fundraiser

        Support The Oakeshott Institute with a pint or two! Raise a glass and support the great programing of The Oakeshott…

        walpurgis 1.33

        Make a Buckler Grown-Up Day Camp

        Admit it, you've always thought of yourself as a swashbuckler. All you lack is an authentic 14th century shield, called…


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        Need More Info?

        Don't hesitate to contact us with any questions you might have about our programs or the collection.

        Contact the Institute
        The Oakeshott Institute
        1035 SE 14th Ave
        Minneapolis, MN 55414

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