A year ago, My family was preparing for our first trip to the Highland Games. To say we all enjoyed them would be an understatement. From the moment we stepped through the gates until we made our way back down the mountain at the end of the day, we had a ball. From the athletics to the people watching to the music, we wandered MacRae Meadows over and over. I even picked up the one thing I have always wanted…My very own Claymore.
The two-handed claymore was a large sword used in the Medieval period. It was used in the constant clan warfare and border fights with the English from circa 1300 to 1700. The last known battle in which it is considered to have been used in a significant number was the Battle of Killiecrankie in 1689. It was somewhat smaller than other two-handed swords of the era. The two-handed claymore seems to be an offshoot of Early Scottish medieval swords which had developed a distinctive style of a cross-hilt with downsloping arms that ended in spatulate swellings. The spatulate swellings were frequently made in a quatrefoil design.
The average claymore ran about 140 cm (55″) in overall length, with a 33 cm (13″) grip, 107 cm (42″) blade, and a weight of approximately 2.5 kg (5.5 lb), the blades are most similar to the type XIIIa, using the Oakeshott typology. Fairly uniform in style, the sword was set with a wheel pommel often capped by a crescent-shaped nut and a guard with straight, down-sloping arms ending in quatrefoils and langets running down the center of the blade from the guard. Another common style of two-handed claymore (though lesser known today) was the “clamshell hilted” claymore. It had a crossguard that consisted of two downward-curving arms and two large, round, concave plates that protected the foregrip. It was so named because the round guards resembled an open clam.
As we made our way around I discovered a great Celtic Tribal Band. If you are in the area this weekend you have to check out Albannach.
Albannach from Glasgow, Scotland will deliver the same foot stomping, heart pounding, dance inspiring, tribal sounds that have gained so much attention for the last three years at Grandfather. With the sound of drums and pipes you will be TRIBALIZED.
I was so taken with their sound I ended up with a CD, which gets played often enough to drive my wife to distraction…
The 52th Grandfather Mountain Highland Games will be held July 12-15, 2007 at MacRae Meadows on Grandfather Mountain near Linville, NC.
Source: Grandfather Mountain Highland Games Homepage