Practical Naval Archery Experience

Event Date:
Start at 9:00 AM
May 5, 2022 - May 8, 2022
Fort Purbrook


Get a practical experience of what naval archery was like during the era of the Mary Rose. For the full experience, start off with making your own longbow and then learn both modern and historic archery shooting methods before going behind-the-scenes to see the Mary Rose longbows and learn about the experimental archaeology research being undertaken right now to work out how the bows were used onboard. This course is modular so you can choose which sections to attend based on your interest or existing level of knowledge and experience.


Anyone with an interest in archery or historic weapons and defence systems will find this course interesting. Aspects of these four days will appeal to novice and experienced archers as well as people who have an interest but no experience of the sport. The practical elements that have been included in each of the four days will appeal to those who like experimental archaeology and hands-on learning. People interested in combining engineering and science to investigate archaeological artefacts will also find this course useful.


Select one, some or all of the options below when booking.

Longbow Making
Thursday 5 – Friday 6 May 2022 – Fort Purbrook

In the process of learning how longbows were made in the past, you will finish a partially completed longbow and will take a functioning longbow home. The bow will be tri-laminated with a Hickory back and Ash and Lemonwood on the belly. As these three wood types are all the same colour, the finished bow will have the appearance of a self bow but will give better performance. During this practical course you will also learn about the history of longbows and the traditional methods of how they are constructed.

Modern Archery
Saturday 7 May 2022 – Fort Purbrook

9am-11am – introduction to modern archery course taught by Archery GB coach

Tour of Fort Purbrook 1-2pm included in Modern and Historic Archery tickets

Historic Archery
Saturday 7 May 2022 – Fort Purbrook

Historic archery display by Company of Bowmen and opportunity for you to test your recently made longbow.

Mary Rose Day
Sunday 8 May 2022 – Mary Rose Museum

A series of presentations about the history of archery and the sport’s revival in the Victorian era. Hear about the ground-breaking PhD researcher making replicas of the Mary Rose bows and doing structural and functional tests on them to better understand how they operated. Learn about the excavation and preservation of the longbows on the Mary Rose and see them behind-the-scenes in the museum store. There will also be a guided tour of the museum.


Longbow making
£320 NAS members
£500 non-NAS members