Eleanor Wilkinson-Keys

Eleanor Wilkinson-Keys


I graduated with a BA in English and Linguistics (2011) and an MA Medieval Studies (2013), both from the University of Leeds. During my MA I was a website intern in the Institute for Medieval Studies and also completed a two-year curatorial internship at the Royal Armouries, Leeds. Whilst at the Armouries I worked on a one-to-one basis with the Senior Curator of Armour and Art and contributed to several important projects and exhibitions including the permanent Church Armour display. I volunteered at Nostell Priory and designed and installed an exhibition showcasing objects within the collection with a link to the Magna Carta. 

I am interested in the presentation and accessibility of collections and spaces across the heritage industry. I currently work full-time for Wakefield Council Museums and Castles as Volunteering and Events Coordinator. My responsibilities include all aspects of overseeing the volunteer scheme, which I sucessfully set up and launched, in my previous role, in 2015. I also assist with the organisation and management of events. 

Research interests

I have been interested in tournament since working with the collection at Royal Armouries Leeds as part of a Curatorial internship. My MA dissertation explored the different forms of jousting in Europe with a focus on material culture. I am particularly interested in jousting in England and France in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, especially regarding themes of spectacle and performance. 

My thesis is multidisciplinary, drawing on historical texts, literature and material culture. It explores the ways in which tournament was documented across a variety of formats and the themes and motifs that survive within these.  

Alongside my thesis I am also interested in funerary achievements, the phenomenon of hanging arms and armour above tombs as commemoration, and church armour more generally. As part of my previous and current roles within Museums and Castles under Wakefield Council I am also interested in the history of Pontefract Castle.  


  • MA Medieval Studies (Merit), University of Leeds
  • BA English and Linguistics (2:1), University of Leeds