Within the Garrison, you will be able to participate in a range of archery activities. The skills you gain in our training sessions can then be used in archery demonstrations at our summer shows. You will also have the opportunity to learn about medieval European bows, arrows, crossbows and shooting techniques and communicate this to the public via archery displays and talks.

One of our members at an archery training session.

At first, you will learn the basic principles of archery, as well as the rules of the range in order to keep yourself and those around you safe. These skills will include:

  • Range safety.
  • Flat target shooting with blunted arrows.
  • Shooting from a range of distances.
  • Shooting to call.

As you progress and pass our archery proficiency tests (which cover skill, safety and knowledge and care of your equipment), you will quickly be able to learn more advanced skills and techniques. These include:

  • Shooting with sharp arrows.
  • Speed shooting.
  • Shooting other types of bow, such as crossbows.
  • Shooting bows with heavier draw-weights.
  • Teaching others to shoot.
  • Fletching (arrow-making) and kit-maintenance.
One of our members shoots with a longbow at a show.
One of our members shoots a longbow at a show.

When you have passed the tests with with bows (and/or crossbows), you will have the opportunity to develop your archery skills further. You may:

  • Participate in archery demonstrations. These may include speed shooting and shooting at (armoured) human targets.
  • Occasionally participate in pitched re-enactment battles with other groups, shooting at armoured combatants.

All basic equipment is provided by the Garrison for use by all members. This includes a selection of bows suitable for children and adults, blunted arrows and targets.

If you decide you wish to buy archery equipment for personal use, please check our Authenticity Guides and consult the Training and Displays Officer before you purchase it. This is to ensure that the equipment you buy is authentic, safe and reliable.

Please be aware that we have a strict 40lb draw-weight limit for bows that are used against human targets (i.e. in re-enactment battles and displays).

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