Medieval longbowman: What was it like to be a medieval archer?


Even with the long reach of a lance, the knight had to contend with the enemy archers before he could engage in hand-to-hand combat. Jason is joined by archer Luke Woods to discuss how archers trained, their role in battle and the power of the English longbow. They also accept a challenge to prove their worth as archers in the English army.

• Executive Producer: Jason Kingsley OBE
• Executive Producer: Chris Kingsley
• Senior Producer: Brian Jenkins
• Producer: Edward Linley
• Director: Dominic Read
• Presenter: Jason Kingsley OBE
• Subject Matter Expert: Luke Woods
• Director of Photography: Ed Mash
• Camera: Jo Taylor
• Editor: Lindsey Studholme
• Stills Photographer: Kasumi
• Associate Producer: James Howard
• Audio: Frank Newman
• Sound Design: Liam Flannigan
• Location Medic: Kevin Case
• Jewellery by SlinkyLynx (
• Music licensed from PremiumBeat
• Additional Camera: Darren Cook
• Additional Camera: Neil Phillips
• Additional Sound: Elizabeth Carlyon

Special Thanks:

• Chris Payton
• Ed Savage

Twitter: @ModernHistoryTV
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  1. Whereas my maximum draw is about 28 inches, and my maximum EFFECTIVE weight is 35 pounds… I can go up to 40 pounds, but only for an extremely limited number of arrows. But then, I'm a woman who took up archery as an adult.

  2. English Bow? The oldest longbows were found in Scandinavia, they were popularised in Britain by the Welsh in the Anglo Welsh wars and then integrated into the English army when Edward Longshanks used Welsh Bowmen against the Scots.

  3. I love how damn POSITIVE they are with each other! They’re both so respectful and chill! I’m having fun just watching them have fun.

  4. always considered the "Bow" and it's rate of shooting arrow after arrow , as the machine-gun of the Dark Ages !!! … would have loved to help William Wallace fight the Brits !!!

  5. Today when i was shooting in the garden i accidently release the arrow before aiming down and while the aroow flew across my garden and pass to neighboors i was praying.Fortunately nobody get hurt but then i started a secret operation to extract and rescue the arrow before my paranoid neigboors find and report me.Mission complete by the way at night i jump over the fences and fall while running away but nonone saw the arrow.They just saw a stupid man doing stunts on fence and falling

  6. I'm wondering if those historical draw weights are not correct and more a product of the bows being aged. Can anyone weigh in on this?

  7. I have a roughly 40 lb longbow which I struggle a little with after having it for years. I could maybe shoot a couple of arrows from a 75 lb bow, I can't even imagine trying to shoot a 140 lb bow.

  8. The arrrowheads for shooting game and men were different. The arrows meant to kill men were sharp and barbed.

  9. Great video! First thing I noted is the size of that guy! I remembered that the archers aboard the Mary Rose were like him. Muscular athletes ( It takes so much time to train these guys and select the best of the best. That's why the battle of Patay was such a turning point in the hundred years war. By wiping out these elite bowmen, we won the war against the English for good. It's the Stalingrad of that war.


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