Contributed by The Fitzwilliam Museum

With a single blow a sword like this could 'chop off the head of the strongest champion that ever lived', according to historian John Campbell writing in the 1700s. Claymores were in use in the Highlands of Scotland from the Middle Ages and remained the weapon of choice until the mid eighteenth century when Highland culture was suppressed. They were used in clan warfare and border skirmishes with the British. They normally weighed around 2.5 kilos.

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