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The Culloden Targe

SKU: PRH303 Categories: ,
(1 customer review)


In stock

The iconic shield of the Scottish Highlander, the Targe in conjunction with the basket-hilt sword are among the most celebrated symbols of Scottish resistance and nationalism. The targe has a long history in Scotland, and unlike most shields it was not discarded as firearms began to dominate battlefields. Instead the Scots used them in earnest, for the targe could not only block blade and bayonet, but it could deflect some musket bullets and stop grapeshot in its thick wooden frame. The targe doubled as a weapon, for many had a center boss spike making shield bashing potentially fatal. Many Scots also concealed a dirk in their hand behind the shield to give a grim surprise for an unaware foe. In their 18th century conflicts with England, the Scots would adorn their targes with the red cloth and brass buttons of fallen English soldiers.

This Targe is named after the climactic Battle of Culloden, when the Jacobite rebellion in Scotland was crushed by the English Hanoverian forces. The romantic and daring Highland Charge, which in earlier battles had swept away foes in a rush of tartans and dazzling sword blades, was ended by the powder and lead of disciplined volleys of English Hanoverian musketry. Though the muskets shot many low, a number of brave Scots brought their swords against the bayonets of their foes, and even breached their red-uniformed line in several places. It would not be enough. Though the brash Scots not only lost the battle, but the English victors suppressed Gaelic culture, banning many weapons, tartans and other symbols of Scottish culture.

Although persecuted, the popularity and iconic nature of Scottish culture today is proof that their efforts were utterly futile, and though Culloden may have been a defeat for the Scots, it is remembered as a dramatic closing act to a era, with its ill-fated Highland Charge a testament to the stubborn bravery of the Scottish Clansman.

This Scottish Targe is crafted from wood and overlaid with leather with embossed Celtic design. Its shield boss and numerous studs are of brass. On its reverse it has a back that has been covered with suede leather, with an arm strap and grip of leather. It also has an integrated pocket for a steel spike that is 6 1/4 long. The tip of the shield boss has a removable nut that can be replaced with this steel spike.

Weight4 lb 3 oz
DimensionsDiameter: 17 3/4''
Country of OriginIndia

1 review for The Culloden Targe

  1. Leland T.

    Very well made To begin, I mainly purchased this shield because of it’s dimensions and weight, and not so much for it’s cultural significance. That said, I am happy that I bought this targe. As I’d thought based on the information provided by the side, this shield is almost the perfect size and weight to provide an excellent balance of protection and manuverability for someone of my size. While it is not truly combat ready, this targe is one half of an inch thick and should be able to withstand some light stage combat usage (assuming that you’d be willing to risk damaging it, to begin with). It should go without saying that you would also want to leave the included spike at home if you did this!

    This targe is comfortable for me to practice with, although I should warn anyone with larger sized arms that the forearm strap is a bit snug for someone of my smaller frame. It is both beautifully designed and stoutly constructed, making it ideal for either display or reenactment purposes. My only real caveat is the steel spike, which, when screwed into the center of the boss was somewhat loose and off center. Regardless, this was a feature that I never intended to use to begin with and doesn’t factor into my overall rating of this targe.

    If you want a very good mid-priced shield of this kind, in would venture that this is almost perfect for what’s available online.

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