The super weapon of the 100 Years War

Below is a picture of world class Bowyer Steve Stratton and the world record holder for distance shooting, Mark Stretton.

The English War Bow's fame on the battle field was renowned throughout the Medieval world. Such of was the might of this devastating weapon its exponents were heralded as "the kings of the battlefield". It's use in massed formations changed the course of history forever.

War bow began in ernest in England with the founding of the English War Bow Society (see links).  Warbow Australia has been going since 2009.

Our group has endeavoured to create a "Western martial art" based on the use of the war bow. This has been done by creating a ranking system to encourage archers to attempt heavier bow poundages and to shoot the bow more accurately at targets and over distances (see rankings tag). The gradings begin at "Villein" (a villager at the time of the 100 years war) and culminate with the advanced rank of "Vintinar Ordo Tertius" the 9th and fial ranking. To achieve this rank, an archer must be able to replicate the level of prowess required to join the ranks of the then military as an archer. This was a coveted position.

Warbow Australia has members from several States but most of the activity       currently occurs in the Southern State of Victoria. The groups latin motto is "Arcus Militaris", meaning "the bow of war" 

Activities involve, training sessions at different archery clubs such as the Black Griffin Traditional Archers based in Geelong, Waverley Archers and the Leongatha Medieval Society based with a range at Coal Creek Historic Village, Kurumburra. We also have grading days, demonstraitons and have various celebratory gatherings. Each year we also hold competitions which feature an event  called the "roving mark" (see gallery). 

Participants in this field of archery are encourage to make their own equipment, arrows, leather gear and even bows and regular workshops are held.


The badge of the first rank of Villein

The badge of the final rank of Vintinar Ordo Tertius

Right: an example of a warbow archer, Robert Serafino, demonstrating target shooting dressed in full medieval "hard" kit (see Historical elements tag). 

During historical displays, war bow archers endeavour to as closely as possible dress as an archer of this time would based on historical records and archives and to then replicate the "within the bow" style of shooting that enabled huge draw weights to be pulled.