Frequently Asked Questions


Q: How do I order a Longbow?

A: First of all, contact us.  Please do this by phone, we will need to know your `draw length`, the `draw weight` you would like the Bow to be, what type of Bow you have chosen from our catalogue and the type of shooting you will be doing.  We can help with all these measurements if you are unsure and can offer advice on what Bow type is suitable, again please phone or arrange a time to come to the workshop to be measured up, this sort of process does not lend itself to e-mail communication.
Once the type of Bow and all the relevant measurements have been made we can get the order underway, we require a deposit of around £100 depending on the type of Bow.  Our current waiting list is about 6 months.


Q: I am a complete beginner but just fancy a Longbow... / or I want to learn to shoot...

A: In the wake of Lord of the Rings etc we get a lot of people who are simply interested in shooting the Longbow or even just owning one.  As with any sport (particularly shooting sports) you need some experience in the sport of Archery and to know the basic safety rules etc... This can only really be achieved by joining or at least attending your local club for some lessons.  You may even find you enjoy the social side of Archery, simply have a look at the N.F.A.S. website and the G.N.A.S. website for details of your local club.  We also offer Longbow coaching/lessons at the workshop, £25 per hour.


Q: How do I know what type of Arrows or Arrow Shafts to order?

A: There are a confusing number of types of Arrows to choose from in our catalogue, hopefully the descriptions on the catalogue should make it clear as to their particular attributes, the more money you spend on a set the more accurately matched to your bow they will be. By `accurately matched` we mean the spine of the shaft (the bendiness of the shaft) and the weight, all has to be taken into account for very accurate shooting, we can work out the necessary requirements from the details of your bow, your draw length and the length you would like the Arrows.  All of this can be done over the phone or at the workshop, once we have made you a set of Arrows the details are all kept on file should wish to order another set.  We can apply the same formula to work out what Arrow Shafts you require, please keep a note of what we send you in case you need more, just give us a call and we can send you the relevant Matched Shafts based on the info you give us.


Q: How do I look after my Longbow String?

A: The main points of wear are where the String sits in the grove of the nock, keep an eye on these points for fraying.  We always recommend you change your string about once a year (it is also advisable to have a spare, make sure it is pre stretched, all new strings will stretch/move at first, then apply the Nocking Point) this is dependent on usage, but keep in mind that a broken String can make for a broken Bow!  Also strings can ware away at the serving (where you place your fingers to draw the String) this can be re-served, but may be a sign that it is time to replace the string or check it thoroughly at he nock ends as described.  We notice allot of people fail to have a Nocking Point on their string, this is bad practice, a Nocking Point is a mark (made however you wish, we use dental floss or similar to create two points that sit either side of the Nock when it is place on the string) that allows you to place the Arrow on the String in the same place each time you shoot, if you do not do this you will never achieve accurate and consistent shooting.  To mark the Nocking Point on your String, take a right angle from the top of your handle on the Bow (when strung) to the string, then move up about 1/4", this is the place you should be Nocking your arrow.  Again if you buy a String new it will need stretching before putting on the Nocking Point or it will move as the String settles in, be sure to have your Bracing Height (the distance of the string from the handle, when strung) correct, this should be 6 1/2" to 7", this is based on a an adult size Bow.


Q: I don't know what size of Fletching I need...

A: The larger the Fletching the more drag and the quicker the Arrow will straighten-up, large Fletchings are ideal for close range shooting, small are ideal for longer distance, some experimentation may be needed to find the ones that suit.


Q: Did Robin Hood Exist?

A: Yes


Q: Do I need a license to own/shoot a Longbow?

A: No you do not need a license, you will need insurance if you wish to take part in organized events/shoots etc, you will get this information from your local club.


Q: Is hunting allowed in Britain?

A: No, hunting with the Bow and Arrow is illegal in Britain.


Q: How long will a Longbow Last?

A: Some people are still using Bows from the Victorian era!!! this, in our opinion, should not be done, they are Antiques and should be treated as such. As for modern Longbows, you can get a good few years top performance out of a Longbow, say 3-4 years, after this time it can begin to tire and lose some of its cast/speed or Draw Weight, this isn't always the case.  We have had Bows come back to our workshop for examination and they still come up to the Weight they were originally made for even though they are more than 10 years old.  As for Bows breaking, well this could happen at any time, its only a piece of wood, if the wood has a flaw that we cannot see when making the Bow then there is a possibility it could break, if a bow is going to break because of a flaw it will do so when we are making it.  All our Bows come with a 12 months guarantee.


Q: What is the maximum Draw Weight that you supply?

A: For target weight Bows maximum is 60lb, our Medieval Style Bow has a maximum of 75lbs.


Q: Do I need to oil or wax the Bow?

A: No, all our bows are varnished and as such need no further attention.  You should always wipe your Bow down with a dry cloth and dry it completely if you have been shooting in bad weather, before putting it away in its bag.  You can if you wish use a Beeswax Furniture Polish to keep a nice shine on the bow, but again this is not needed and most Longbow owners do not do this.


Q: I want to make my own Bow, what do I do?

A: Well, short of writing a book at this point and posting it here, all we can recommend is going about it 1 of 3 ways, get an apprenticeship from a Member of `The Craft Guild of Traditional Bowyers and Fletchers` by contacting the member nearest you from the list on the Guilds website (see our links section) not all members will take on apprentices or read the many books available on the subject or start with one of our DIY kits.
Please don't ask us for books on Bow Making, we do not sell them, if you are reading this then you have access to the www and can search the many Archery outlets that sell Bow making books, we can supply you with all the materials you will need and DIY kits.  We cannot offer advice on materials purchased outside of our own catalogue.  Please be aware you will need to know how a bow works before making one!!!, some basic Archery skills are a must, some experience with the Longbow will be useful too.


Q: I have just cut down a Yew tree are you interested? (or similar)

A: Thank you for asking, but mainly we have to say no, English Yew is far from the best for making bows.  Nine times out of ten it just is not worth a long trip to view what usually ends up being of no use, sorry.  Perhaps wood turners would appreciate it.


Q: I want to know about the history of the Longbow etc...?

A: If you want to ask us a question about Historical aspects of Archery via e-mail or telephone PLEASE DONT, we get a constant stream of Historical questions, if we answered them we would have no time to make bows!!!  If you have an interest in the Historical side please have a look at the books we sell on the subject, we keep all the latest titles with up to date info.  Alternatively you can talk to us in person at the many events we attend during the year, where we will have time to argue about the two finger salute and if Robin Hood really did exist.


Q: How much is that in Dollars/Euros etc...?

A: Here is a handy currency converter.


Q: Can you provide written confirmation of the value of my second hand Longbow for insurance/compensation        purposes?

A: We are not dealers in second hand bows.  We can only give confirmation of its new price, as our catalogue, send 2 1st class stamps for our printed catalogue.  If you purchased a bow from us and need written confirmation on headed paper for insurance purposes, we may make a charge for this service.


Q: How do I maintain the straightness of my Arrows?

A: This is something people often fail to think about, every time you shoot an arrow it bends ALLOT! also when you remove from the ground or target they can bend considerably.
Straightening is very simple, CAREFULLY heating the arrow and bending it gently back to straightness with the hands is a task most can master, see the short video we put together to show the basic technique.  Please be careful when using steam!


Q: Do you have a catalogue?

A: No, not a physical one anyway, its all online on the website you are on now.