There are now a number of Societies which specificaly promote the longbow (See LINKS page) or encourage it's use. Many longbow archers are sudying the 'War bow', a few repeating the feats of strength and skill which made it such a formidable weapon.
The modern Olympic round and target is derived from competition rules devised by the Prince Regent in the late 18th century -see ' Wand & target shooting' for details
For more pictures of English archery traditions click HERE
A DVD is available of Warbow tests,
Above: Alice Legh, 23 times Ladies Champion.1881-1922
Left: Mark Stretton, reknowned wielder of the 'warbow'
Right: Woodmen of Arden shoot at the clout
The longbow is often referred to as the 'English' longbow because of the reknowned achievements of the archers in the English armies during the 'Middle Ages'. Longbowmen were organised, trained and deployed in a way whicjh was unique in Europe, and as the yew longbow was comparatively quick to make (when compared with the composite bows of the east) arms could be called upon from bowyers and fletchers throughout the country, and stored in the Armouries for issue in times of 'chevauchée (a polite term for raids) into France, and for use by the English Armies when required by their allies. There are many records of longbowmen from the English armies in Spain, Portugal and France.
The longbowmen themselves, of course, came from all over Britain -the most notable being from the Marches and Wales.
In the UK we are fortunate in that there has always been a champion of the longbow -even when handguns were becoming more widely used. Henry VIII and Elizabeth I themselves shot in the longbow, although Elizabeth was instrumental in it's replacement in the English armies.
In the English Civil War proponents of the longbow insisted that Charles I would have remained on the throne had the planned contingent of archers been realised!
Singular characters kept faith with the longbow despite derision and opposition -and nowadays the rapidly growing numbers of longbow archers are testament to the power of this simple traditional weapon to charm -and test- the modern archer.