Learning Resources

For Teachers, Pupils, Parents and more

  • Long Spear

  • About

Total Length: 350-450cm


Unlike the short spears used by many different types of fighting man at Bannockburn, the long spear was a specialist weapon used only by the specially trained blocks of Scottish infantrymen known as schiltrons.

The only difference between this spear and others was its extreme length.

How was it used?

A much longer spear, in the hands of disciplined spearmen, was a serious threat to charging horsemen.

Properly used, a schiltron could prevent cavalry charges from breaking a formation of infantry. The long spears reached horses and their riders before they could get close enough.

Schiltrons had to be protected, however. Archers were needed to guard the spearmen from enemy archers, while other infantry (‘knife-men’) were positioned in amongst the schiltron ready to jump out to attack anyone who managed to get past the bristling hedge of razor-sharp spearheads.