Albion Bayeux Review

The Albion Bayeux is fairly typical of their next generation line - historically accurate and expensive. All too often though, reviews are published by raving Albion fan boys who gloss over or ignore any flaws and hype any good aspects.

This is not one of those reviews.

Instead, it is just a completely honest review by your average sword collector looking to get the most historically accurate and best sword for their money that they possibly can. So did they succeed with the Albion Bayeux? Read on and decide for yourself.


Albion Bayeux Sword Review

Reviewed by SBG member Max 'BeastofWotan'


I’m an early medieval nut, and as such most of my collection thus far has been Viking Age pieces.

I decided that my collection was missing a good Norman-era sword. Originally I thought about getting a Senlac, then the Albion Bayeux caught my eye. I liked both swords for their seemingly simple, utilitarian aesthetic. They both seem like practical battlefield weapons. After reading about the Reeve, which shares the same blade as the Bayeux, and posting a thread about the Senlac and Bayeux, I decided to get the latter. I purchased it new from KoA (Kult of Athena).

Historical Overview

This sword easily falls into the Oakeshott Type X category. These blades were common in the early medieval period through the 12th century. Oakeshott himself describes the type as follows:

"A broad, flat blade of medium length (average 31") with a fuller running the entire length and fading out an inch or so from the point, which is sometimes acute but more often rounded. This fuller is generally very wide and shallow, but in some cases may be narrower (about 1/3 of the blade's width) and more clearly defined; a short grip, of the same average length (3 3/4") as the Viking swords.

The tang is usually very flat and broad, tapering sharply towards the pommel. The cross is narrower and longer than the more usual Viking kind--though the Vikings used it, calling it "Gaddjhalt" (spike-hilt) because of its spike-like shape. Generally of square section, about 7" to 8" long, tapering towards the tips. In rare cases curved. The pommel is commonly of one of the Brazil-nut forms, but may be of disk form."

This sword has the broad blade, with wide shallow fuller. The grip is short, very close to the average length stated above. It has the long “Gaddhjalt” guard and disc pommel. In my opinion, this is about as X as X can be.

Initial Impressions

Albion wait times now typically exceed 12 months.. However Kult of Athena often have a few models in stock and tend to be able to get their orders fulfilled faster than individual customers.

I had read that Albion swords can take up to 6 months to be delivered, however I got mine in about 2.5 months, much faster than I expected (side note, I recently received a new Jarl that only took 3 weeks from ordering at KoA to ship!).

It arrived in the classic Albion white box. No issues with shipping or packaging.

At first glance this seems a simple weapon, but a very pleasant one to behold.

Statistics

All these measurements are mine, except for the Weight which is from KoA.

Blade Length: 30.25”
Blade Width: Slightly over 2 1/8”
Grip Length: 3 5/8”
Overall Length: 36”
Guard: 7.25”
POB: About 5.25”
Weight: 2 lb 7.2 oz

Components

The Blade

This is not a tool for thrusting. At first glance, it appears simple. The blade is broad at the base and gradually tapers to the rounded point. I really like how the last third or so gently curves towards its point. It is, as are the fittings, finished to Albion’s normal satin shine. Very pleasant, I got a little wide eyed when it arrived.

Disclaiming note: after cutting a lot with this sword, I oiled it up and polished out some self-inflicted scratches before the below pictures, but its very close to how it looked new.

Oh and its frickin' razor sharp.

The Grip

It is a short grip, less than 3.75” long. While this might be a bit short for those with large hands, it fits me perfectly. I chose the “campaign” tan, as I felt that fit best with the practical warrior aesthetic that I was hoping for.

Now for a tiny nitpick, since I don’t want to come across as a fanboy: the seam, which is has a thick line of darkening, presumably from the glue used, which is noticeable but not offensive.

The Guard

Wide, simple, effective. Though I love early period Viking swords, I actually prefer wide guards like this. It does seem like it would provide great protection to the hands.

It is deceptively simple, as it does not have a rectangular cross section. It is very slightly ovaloid, which I have tried to picture below.

The Pommel

The pommel matches the guard excellently. It shares the deceptive simplicity found at first glance.

The disc has a slightly concave cross section.

The peen is clean, almost invisible.

Handling Characteristics

This is not a dainty late medieval thruster, that’s for sure.

While its purpose feels clear, this is also not a cumbersome sword. It is fast, but with a P.O.B. of about 5.25”, it cuts with great power and authority.

This feels like a sword for the warriors on foot, when devastating cuts are needed, but recovery time is more important than would be if the wielder was on horseback. I love how this sword handles.

Test Cutting

I don’t cut often, but I couldn’t resist taking this meanie out for a spin. My technique is pretty atrocious, but this sword is very forgiving. It sang through the soda bottles. Though I suck, there were no half-smashed bottles, and I never felt like a batter hitting foul balls. It helps that it was VERY sharp, of course. I might just be getting better, but this was the first sword that I ever got three cuts into a bottle before sending it flying.

Even the thicker 2 liter bottles that stood against me were nicely cut in twain. I don’t have any tatami mats, so I can’t testify to its power against anything other than bottles, but I imagine it would hold it’s own just fine.

Conclusion

I wanted a practical 11th century warriors weapon and scabbard and that’s precisely what I got. This is a no BS warriors weapon. While it is aesthetically pleasing in it’s apparent “plainness”, the design is actually quite subtle.

I don’t review very often, but I was moved to do so with this one because, in short, it is my favorite sword that I have owned (as of this review, of course, I’m as fickle as any). It is on the lower end of the Next Gen price range, but at almost $900, it is still a significant cost. That said, I would highly recommend this sword to both those making their first plunge into Albion swords and those veteran collectors who have yet to fill this niche in their collection.

PROS

  • Deceptively simple geometry
  • Amazing handling
  • Gorgeous in it’s no nonsense aesthetic.


CONS

  • Even at the lower end of the Albions, it’s still expensive (but for what you are getting is that really a con?)
  • The seam on the grip is noticeable... I guess?

WHERE TO BUY

Max purchased hid Albion Bayeux here at Kult of Athena for $855 which is a good choice as they tend to get their swords in faster than if you order direct from Albion and actually slightly cheaper too (Albions price is $880). They also quite often have a few Albion Swords in stock, which avoids the painful wait time entirely..


I hope this review of the Albion Bayeux Sword was helpful. To return to Affordable Replicas of Medieval Swords from Albion Bayeux Sword Review, click here


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