Ceremonial Swords of Britain

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The British Isles have long been steeped in a rich heritage of ceremony and tradition, and there are few artefacts that evoke this culture so strongly as the ceremonial sword. Undertaking a monumental task to create a celebration of artistry, craft and tradition, author Edward Barrett travelled to over sixty locations, from Edinburgh to Exeter, Camarthen to Canterbury, on a 3,500-mile-long odyssey to inspect, document and measure the eighty-seven state and civic swords of Great Britain. This was followed by a further 1,000-mile journey around Ireland researching similar swords. The individual story behind each of these magnificent works of art is told in full, and the volume also explores the history of the sword, the scabbard and their manufacture, as well as of other ceremonial trappings of each location. With unique access to the Royal Collections and stunning full-colour images throughout, Edward Barrett more than brings this fascinating work to life.


Edward Barrett joined the army in 1960 and trained in the Tower of London and Sandhurst. After 32 years of service he was Clerk to the Charter Trustees in the City of Bath and was national secretary of the Guild of Mace-bearers. He wrote their Manual of the Mace and later authored a section about the swords. He revised and re-wrote the manual for army officer selection and wrote the officer selection manual for the Territorial Army.