The day I spent building a longbow

This article was written for 2020 Archery.

Longbows are, at least for a British archer, the ultimate type of bow. Robin Hood, if you ignore the latest cinematic flop, shot an English longbow. The English army won at Agincourt with longbows shot by both English and Welsh archers. The English longbow is the reason that yew trees almost became extinct in Europe in the 16th century. Longbows are as synonymous with the history of Great Britain as the royal family, bowler hats, and arguments about Marmite.

Back when I primarily shot a recurve bow, I always said I would get a longbow when I scored 550 out of 600 on a full 60-arrow Portsmouth round. I’ve held a personal best of 549 for a couple of years, and the fact that I mainly shoot an American flatbow these days means I’m very unlikely to beat that. If I can’t reach my target for buying a longbow, I figured I’d just have to build one.

Sadly, I have the carpentry skills of a lump of wood. I sought out a proper longbow making workshop.

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