The claymore sword, a symbol of Scottish heritage and medieval warfare, has long captured the imagination of history enthusiasts and sword collectors alike. This iconic weapon, known for its distinctive size and design, played a significant role in the battles and legends of medieval Scotland.

What is a Claymore Sword?

The term “claymore” derives from the Gaelic “claidheamh-mòr,” which means “great sword.” It is a type of large, two-handed sword that was commonly used in Scotland from the late medieval period through the early modern era. The claymore is famous for its impressive length and its unique design, which includes a long, double-edged blade and a hilt with forward-sloping quillons ending in quatrefoils.

Claymore Sword Design and Features

The claymore is not just any sword; it is a masterpiece of medieval weapon design. It typically measures around 55 inches in length, with the blade alone being about 42 inches. The large size of the claymore allowed warriors to deliver powerful strikes against their enemies, making it a feared weapon on the battlefield. The blade was crafted from high-quality steel and was double-edged, meaning it could cut in both directions. The hilt was designed to be held with two hands, providing better control and the ability to generate more force in a swing.

How Long is a Claymore Sword?

One of the most frequently asked questions about the claymore sword is about its length. On average, a claymore sword is about 55 inches (140 centimeters) long. The blade itself makes up a significant portion of this length, typically around 42 inches (107 centimeters). This considerable size made the claymore one of the largest swords used in medieval combat. The length of the sword gave its wielder a significant advantage in terms of reach and impact force, although it also required considerable skill and strength to use effectively.

Uses and Techniques

The claymore was not just a tool for battle; it was a symbol of Scottish pride and martial skill. Warriors wielding claymores were trained to use the sword’s length to keep opponents at a distance. The technique involved a mix of sweeping and thrusting motions, designed to utilize the sword’s range and cutting power. The sword was particularly effective against lightly armored foes, as its long blade could cause significant damage with each strike.

In addition to its practical use in combat, the claymore was often a ceremonial item. It was a representation of the warrior’s status and skill. During times of peace, the claymore was a prized possession, often beautifully decorated and displayed with pride.

Historical Significance

The claymore has a storied place in Scottish history. It was used during the Scottish Wars of Independence and in various clan battles throughout the medieval period. The sword became a symbol of Scottish resistance and bravery, particularly in the face of English aggression. It was not just a weapon but a part of Scotland’s national identity.

Legacy and Modern Interest

Today, the claymore sword continues to fascinate people around the world. Its imposing size and elegant design make it a popular item among collectors of historical weapons. Replicas of claymores are often featured in movies, television shows, and books, further cementing its place in popular culture as a symbol of medieval might.


The claymore sword, with its impressive length and unique design, is more than just a weapon; it is a piece of history. It symbolizes the courage and skill of medieval Scottish warriors and continues to be a subject of fascination and admiration. Whether in historical texts or modern entertainment, the claymore retains its status as one of the most iconic swords of the medieval era.