So, How Does Archery Work?
The activity involves using our re-curve bows which have a 'pull' weight of between 20 and 28lbs - which will give you plenty of force to thud the arrows into our targets about 10 meters away!
For groups who are not complete novices, we can introduce longer and different styles of targets - and a few fun games to really test your skills with the bow!
Contact us now to discuss archery as a stand alone activity for small groups, or to include it in one of our exciting packages such as Country Sports History
Bows seem to have been invented in the late Paleolithic or early Mesolithic periods - approximately eleven and a half thousand years ago!
The oldest indication for its use in Europe comes from Germany and date from the late Paleolithic age, about 10,000-9000 BC. The arrows were made of pine and consisted of a mainshaft and a 6-8 inches long fore shaft with a flint point.
There are no definite earlier bows; previous pointed shafts are known, but may have been launched by atlatls (a spear thrower) rather than bows. The oldest bows known so far come from the Holmegard swamp in Denmark. Bows eventually replaced the atlatl as the predominant means for launching shafted projectiles, on every continent except Australia (where the woomera was used), though the atlatl persisted alongside the bow in parts of the Americas, notably Mexico and amongst the Inuit.
Bows and arrows have been present in Egyptian culture since its predynastic origins. In the Levant, artifacts which may be arrow-shaft straighteners are known from the Natufian culture, (c. 12,800-10,300 BP (before present)) onwards.
Classical civilizations, notably the Assyrians, Persians, Somalis, Parthians, Indians, Koreans, Chinese, Japanese and Turks fielded large numbers of archers in their armies. Archery was highly developed in Asia and in the Islamic world. In East Asia, ancient Korean civilizations were well known for their regiments of exceptionally skilled archers.
Central Asian tribesmen (after the domestication of the horse) and American Plains Indians (after gaining access to horses) were extremely adept at archery on horseback, with especially Mongol horsemen being renowned for fielding mounted archers in their armies. The lightly armoured, but highly mobile Mongol archers proved to be excellently suited to warfare in the Central Asian steppes, helping to conquer a large part of the known world at that time.
In Europe, the English longbow proved its worth for the first time in Continental warfare at Crecy, France, in 1346.
Decline and survival of Archery.
The development of firearms eventually rendered bows obsolete in warfare. Despite the high social status, ongoing utility, and widespread pleasure of archery in Korea, England, China, Japan, Turkey, Armenia, America, Egypt, India and elsewhere, almost every culture that gained access to even early firearms used them widely, to the relative neglect of archery.
Although early firearms were vastly inferior in rate-of-fire, and were very susceptible to failure in wet weather, they had a longer effective range and were tactically superior in the common situation of soldiers shooting at each other from behind obstructions. They also required significantly less training to use properly, in particular when attempting to penetrate steel armour without any need to develop special musculature.
Armies equipped with guns could thus provide superior firepower by sheer weight of numbers, and highly-trained archers became almost obsolete on the battlefield. However, archers are still effective and have seen action even in the 21st century. Traditional archery remains in use for sport, and for hunting in many areas.
From the 1920s, professional engineers took an interest in archery, previously the exclusive field of traditional craft experts. They led the commercial development of new forms of bow including the modern recurve and compound bow, such as the type we use on our events. These modern forms are now dominant in modern Western archery; traditional bows are in a minority.