Longbow archers

 

The longbow, its arrows and ancillary equipment is all about natural materials. How to use these natural materials today, but also how they were used in the past and what we can learn from them. Today's longbows are for sport, they are comparatively light and with their 5/16 inch arrows can shoot impressive distances. Accuracy, whether at target or in the various other traditional longbow shoots, needs regular practise and is open to all.

This is the only sport where a physically challenged person is the equal of an able bodied competitor. Shooting the longbow is very good for general health and for gently building up torsional strength.

The cost is very low. It is possible to be fully equipped with a longbow, a set of arrows, a quiver, brace and finger tab for £280 (€330). Membership of the International Longbow Archers Association is only £6 per annum (€ 7).

Shooting in the longbow always makes for an wonderful day out. History and tradition are never very far away. The equipment used today would easily be recognized by the medieval man of the bow. The style of shooting and its purpose has a direct connection to the training of the Middle-Ages.


The bows and arrows retrieved from the Mary Rose tell us much of what the medieval longbow man was capable of and what his constraints were. It surprises us with the high standards to which medieval craftsmen worked. Today's bowyers, fletchers and arrowsmiths are able to produce the very equipment used by the longbow man of old. Using such equipment is beginning to give us further insight into the impact of the longbow in battle and to refine our understanding of its role in history.

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