Lion Knight History 1

The LEGO Lion Knights & Crusaders:

An Unofficial Fan History by Robert Martin

I’m creating a history of the LEGO Lion Knights Castle faction that ran 1984-1992.


In human terms we are going back to 1984, but in Legoland time we are travelling back to the 12th century, with the factions being largely based on the history of the North-West European nations.


The Lion Knights were just one of the major groups of knights that occupied Legoland in the Castle era. We know very little about them, other than what we can piece together from pictures from lots of different sources and interpretations made by a generation of fans that grew up with them.

In this mini-series, I am going to interpret – like any historian – the evidence that we have to create a narrative of what may have been taking place during this period.

Legoland Castle was a time when the skies were golden, and when power was measured by the size of your castle fortress.  This is a time when soldiers control everything – life is important only when you can wield a spear, axe or ride a horse.  In this period, there are hills, rivers and forests to explore – these can be a chance for adventures, or battles to be fought.  Training as a soldier is important, and so is the chance to rest and relax with good food & drink at the end of a day’s adventures.

This is a history of the Lion Knights – who are often called Crusaders in later discussions and articles.  I am a LEGO fan based in the UK, where the main fortress was called Castle Lion, and thereafter we referred to the soldiers as Lion Knights.  The LEGO Group themselves did not give any names to the factions until approximately 1990, and then in 1992 referred to this faction in the UK catalogue as Lion Knights specifically.  Online categorisation (e.g. on from 1990 gives them the title Crusaders, which is what a lot of fans refer to them as.  This is very much based on the Lion crest on their shields, which is linked to King Richard I of England, often called the Lionheart, who led troops in the crusades of Europe to fight in the Holy Land.  But I have never found any official material that refer to them as Crusaders, and for the first 8 years or so of the Castle period, it seems that everyone was happy to call the soldiers whatever they needed to be to create your storyline.  I have therefore called them Lion Knights (or Lions) throughout this story.

The Lion Knights were clearly the leading power in the land to start off with, with a huge castle and large numbers of troops.  They represented the royal authority – but who that might have been is never identified throughout this faction’s history, so I have made my own guesses based on the events that take place.

This unofficial history will take us through periods of peace, of war, of difficult decisions, and in the end the bitter taste of defeat as the faction disappeared in the early 1990’s…

Please note: these entries are designed to create an Unofficial fan’s History of the Lion Knights – none of the narrative is endorsed by The LEGO Group; all images are taken from source material created by LEGO, but they are not being used in a profit-making capacity; any images used are only for the purpose of illustrating our story. Set images and catalogue pages are sourced from websites, primarily using the excellent online resources at LEGO Ideas book images are scanned from my own sources and added where they add useful additional detail to the narrative. We start our adventure properly – by going back to the golden years of Classic Castle back in 1984…

Chapter 1: 1984

Let’s begin by examining the sets and characters that make up this period:

6010: Supply Wagon/ Knights Squire
6021: Jousting Knights/ Sir Richard & Black Knight
6022: Horse Cart/ Men At Arms
6040: Blacksmith Shop/ Blacksmith’s Forge
6061: Siege Tower
6080: King’s Castle/ Castle Lion

As the official sets were launched, a large number were assigned to the Lion Knights.  By far the most dominant was 6080 Castle Lion, described in other countries as King’s Castle, so it is marked out as a royal base, and the knights and soldiers set to protect it are given special uniforms and hold unique status out of all the Lion Knights and Crusader troops.  We don’t know who held the throne in this period – there is no reference in any official material to a king or queen.  UK LEGO Club source material refers to Sir Richard being in charge, which would suggest a baron holding power in place of the monarch, perhaps while the king was away on another mission.  His duties included making sure that other powerful nobles were kept under control – and in this early period the main threat came from the Black Knight, signified by the Black Falcon faction.  At this point in time, there was peace in the kingdom – each side maintained large retinues of troops, but there was no open hostility from either side.  Sir Richard was content to joust with the Black Knight in a bid to keep his troops fresh, but for the main part, his core aim was to build up his strength.  The blacksmith was employed to create new weapons and parts, fortified outposts were built to make sure that military intelligence was kept up to date, supported by armed weapon convoys, and a siege tower was built but only ever used in practice drills by his troops.  There was even a travelling peasant (sometimes called a squire) who bought and sold weapons between the factions and who seemed to have free access across the land.

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