Very few mailmakers today can do it all- every link type, every weave, every construction, every pattern. I would trust him with any original mail piece in my care.
Dr. Tobias Capwell FSA
Armour Curator and Jouster
I have worked with Nick Checksfield in several capacities. In my work as a television presenter, I have interacted with him on-screen. He is intelligent, quick-witted, engagingly humble (the hallmark of someone with exceptional talent), personable and choc-full of knowledge. In my work as a director, I have employed his on-screen services in films, explaining the intricacies of medieval mail. Not only did he bring all the aforementioned attributes to the table but his ability to set-design and to set-dress, with thoughtfully chosen pieces, together with his fascinating assembly of historical mail-making tools, lifts production values beyond expectations. Nick is a rare talent, who not only creates astonishingly beautiful artefacts in mail and other media, he speaks about the process with articulate eloquence and presents the package with the sartorial flair of an artist. Nick is, without doubt, an artist – and also lots of fun!
Author, Director & TV Presenter
Nick has been advising on the conservation of a mail shirt being worked on by students on the BSc and MSc Conservation courses at Cardiff University.
As well as providing historical background information Nick taught a one-day workshop on mail making to a group of students at the University. The course was a great introduction to the subject, with Nick providing an excellent history of the subject followed by a practical session.
The students thoroughly enjoyed the course and Nick's friendly and supportive teaching style.
I have continued to develop my interest in working with mail following this workshop and Nick is always on hand to share his knowledge and expertise whenever I need advice.
Phil Parkes ACR FHEA FIIC
Reader in Conservation, Cardiff University
Nick has been instrumental in helping me develop Cap-à-pie over the past few years. His knowledge of historical armour is second to none. It's always a pleasure discussing how to improve mass-produced materials as well as researching possible tools and techniques with him.
Nick is always happy to lend a hand at events and provide good, solid advice to the re-enactment community - a true master maille maker.
Nick is a true craftsman whose passion for history and authentic detail shines.
He's one of a very small handful of people that genuinely understands a misunderstood discipline and has extensive hands-on experience with original pieces.
The work he's done on my maille is frankly astonishing given what we started with.
If you are in the UK and serious about getting maille that not only looks right but sits and moves and fits and functions as it should, I cannot recommend Maestro Checksfield highly enough.
I can’t recommend Nick enough.
I wanted a maille hauberk to start off my late 14th-century armour. Nick is THE go-to person in the UK to do this.
I bought a basic hauberk, which, unfitted, is like a baggy iron Tee-shirt. My arms took all the weight of it when I raised them and excess maille hung around me.
Nick fitted my hauberk to me like an expert tailor, lengthened torso and the arms, allowing for flexibility, adjusting the chest and back of my hauberk, removed excess maille etc so it fitted like a glove over my gambeson.
This man knows about maille, he restores exhibits in museums! Nick recommended how to prepare and maintain my maille.
It looks and feels fantastic. It’s my favourite piece of kit. Fitted maille can’t be understated, I practice Fiore, A 600-year-old martial art, of which, some is done in armour. My hauberk works with my body, it’s not just a heavy extra layer
Nick has worked with our school for the last eight years and he has been a fantastic addition to our history department.
His knowledge, expertise, and genuine love for his subject have given our boys the most superb of historical experiences.
Once a year he visits us to deliver our medieval weapons day, where he comes fully dressed as a 14th-century armourer and then proceeds to show and describe an array of different weapons.
His story of a knight on the battlefield of Crécy, jousting on space hoppers and seeing how far a longbow arrow can be ‘loosed’ are always particular highlights for the pupils.
During lockdown he even managed to do the same presentation over a zoom call!
Earlier this year we managed to entice Nick to join us on the battlefield of Hastings where he gave us a guided tour and gave the pupils new and detailed insights to the battle, far more than any textbook could.
It has been an honour and privilege to be able to have worked with Nick over the last eight years and I hope there are many more to come.
Nick has been a trainer and reenactor at Alnwick Castle for a number of years. As a trainer, Nick has been able to guide the staff through the process of maille making and its history to expand their knowledge of the medieval period. He has given them the confidence to engage with our visitors on a greater technical level with regards to this subject.
He is incredibly patient with the staff as they attempt the craft themselves. This has given them a greater appreciation for the skill level required in the maille making process.
Nick is very engaging with the subject and makes learning fun by linking the progression of maille making to significant historical events and individuals.
As a reenactor and demonstrator, he is very engaging with visitors who are always amazed to see his work and learn more about the process.
Nick has a real passion for the craft and its history and is able to communicate that effectively with many. I can’t recommend Nick and his services enough.
Visitor Activity Manager, Alnwick Castle
Nick has proven to be passionate and committed in the handling and restoration of the many items I have sent him over the years, which is reflected in the finished item.