Nursery Rhymes

Billhook

Middle Ages - Lords and Ladies

Description of Billhook
The weapons used during the Middle Ages include the Billhook. The description of the Billhook which provides basic facts and information about the weapon is as follows:

  • Billhook - This weapon originated as a cross between a broad curved knife which was hook shaped at the end and an axe. It was originally used as a farming tool

  • Names of other types of billhook -  Bill, Hook bill and Hand bill
  • Used as a versatile, close contact weapon
  • The blade between 8 and 10 inches long and curved towards the end giving a hook-like appearance
  • The wooden handle was a short staff which measured between 6 and 8 inches long
  • However bills came in a large variety of shapes and dimensions
  • Hooks of various types were also attached to this lethal weapon of the Middle Ages
  • A blow could apply tremendous force and could inflict significant injury to a knight in armor and his horse
  • Horse armor was developed to counteract injuries inflicted by such weapons as the bill. The Medieval horse, called a Destrier was the favored horses of knights in the Middle Ages
  • The hook end was used for grappling the target's armor or the reins of a warhorse
  • The weapon was used as a grappling or cutting weapon and capable of cutting off the limbs of an enemy in one stroke
  • The weapon was particularly effective against opponents wearing plate armor and reducing the effectiveness of the shield
  • Type or group of weapons - Cutting Weapon

Billhook Training
Skill in the use of Medieval weapons and understanding the strategy of Medieval Warfare was necessary and a played a vital part in Medieval life. The training required by a Foot Soldiers to use the Billhook :

  • Training method - The training method practised in the use of the Warhammer was based on strength and accuracy in hitting the target
  • A "hit" was scored in Medieval weapons training by making light contact with a defined target area or in the accuracy when hurling the battle axe at a practise target
  • Foot soldiers were familiar with this weapon as similar implements were used as agricultural tools
Middle Ages Weapons
Middle Ages Index

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