England. Home of Robin Hood. Home of the longbow. When one says England and archery in the same sentence, most people automatically think of the “Lincoln green” wearing rebel and his Merry Men.
My passion for archery started with Howard Pyle’s The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, given to me by my Father and sister when I was 8. I immediately became enthralled with the concept of chivalry and all things archery, which led to many repetitions of “may I have a bow Dad?” It would be a few more years before I actually received my very own bow, but the seed had been planted and my journey into the world of archery had begun. This is why the Taking Aim Project has decided to start our trip here in England.
Unsurprisingly, there is so much more to archery in England than just our familiar forest dwelling thief:
- London is home to the only known medieval arrow, currently housed in Westminster Abbey.
- We also find longbows at the Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth, the Tower of London, The Wallace Museum and many other places.
- Strangely, although there are no medieval examples of longbows surviving today, there are bows older that than that present in London. They are not complete bows mind you; instead, they are pieces of horn and bone from Roman Auxiliary bows which can be found in the Museum of London.
There is a rich archery history here and it our goal to find it, learn it and bring it to you. Stay tuned, but first, on to the pub and some most excellent duck liver pate….