click for an enlargement 14c Coat of Plates - Transitional

The coat-of-plates was a development that appeared in the 13th century which evolved from the surcoat, which was occasionally reinforced with oblong vertical plates riveted to the cloth. Throughout the 14c the coat-of-plates was the most common form of body armour all the way through 1360's. It was constructed of either a textile or leather garment lined with plates. In illustrations from the period, the coat-of-plates appeared to be worn over the hauberk and beneath the surcoat.

The illustration depicts a reconstruction of a coat of plates based on the finds from the battle graves at Wisby. The coat of plates found consist of iron plates riveted to a textile covering; the rivet heads often take the form of florets or heraldic devices. Coat of plates conformed for the most part to the basic patter of a T-shaped garment with a hole in the centre of the vertical arm through which the wearer put his head. The horizontal arm of the T, which formed the front and side of the garment, was lined with plates and these wrapped around the wearer, passed over the rear of the garment and met at the back, where they were fastened with buckles and laces. Click on the image for an enlargement.

Image sourced from David Edge & John Miles Paddock, "Arms and Armour of the Medieval Knight", Crescent Books, 1996. Permission has been requested to Crescent Books (March 5, 01) to use this image and therefore, in the meantime, the image has a fairly obviously copyright notice across it. This will be removed if and when copyright permission has been granted.
Copyright © Saturn Books Ltd, 1996.