Graham Ashford

2010 QEST Scholar - Blacksmithing & Armoury

Graham changed his career from an IT trouble-shooter to armourer, after practising the craft as a hobby for nine years.  His QEST Scholarship supported a three year apprenticeship with Dave Hewitt, one of the foremost medieval reproduction armourers in the UK.

Graham’s forge, the Greenleaf Workshop, supplies living history fairs with accurate armoury and bespoke arms, as well as equipping museums and other educational institutions. Located in Hampshire, he blends the latest research and archaeological finds with experimentation and traditional techniques whenever possible to achieve high quality, hand forged reproductions.

He teaches helmet and gauntlet making at West Dean College and regularly exhibits at the International Living History Festival in Essex. He has also completed armouring work for Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds, and has exhibited armour at The Great Hall, Winchester, The Salisbury Museum and the National Army Museum.

There is no doubt in my mind that without the support of QEST allowing me to apprentice with a master armour for three years, I would not be a full time armourer now. The scholarship allowed me to train with a master armourer giving me tremendous insight into the armour making process that would have previously taken my many more years to even begin to gain.