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. 

From March 2015 - November 2019 I worked for Wakefield Council Museums and Castles as Volunteering and Events Coordinator.  I currently work full time as Curatorial Assistant at the Royal Armouries, Leeds.

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 from the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries, especially regarding themes of spectacle and performance, identity and surviving material culture. 

My research is a multidisciplinary study of tournament from the fourteenth to the sixteenth centuries, mainly in England and France. I focus on themes of spectacle and performance, the physical space of the tournament field, the symbolic use of decoration on tournament arms and armour (particularly horse barding) and the use of multidisciplinary sources in museum displays. I study a broad range of sources including historical and literary texts, material culture and iconography. 

Alongside my thesis I am also interested in horse barding and other horse furniture as well as funerary achievements, the phenomenon of hanging arms and armour above tombs as commemoration. As part of my previous 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