5th-8th May 2022

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
 – 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

Weekend tickets
NAS membership starts at £20 so why not become a member and get the discount price straight away?!

Modern Archery Historic Archery Mary Rose Day All 3 combined discount price
NAS member £50 £50 £100 £160
non-NAS member £80 £80 £150 £300

NAS members will receive 5 credits per day


Pip Bickerstaffe has been a bowyer for thirty years and has been building longbows commercially for 25 years. He has been an archery coach since 1975 and is a founder and life member of the National Field Archery Society.

The Company of Bowmen were formed in 1998 to do a display for the Mary Rose Trust and since then have worked closely with the Mary Rose Trust, The Royal Armouries and English Heritage. They use both the English Longbow and mediaeval crossbow. 

Daniel Hawley is an Archery GB coach and Chairman of Fort Purbrook Company of Bowmen. He is also three times British Champion in AGB Field Archery, shooting in the English Longbow, British National Record holder and a GB representative in the European Field Archery Championships 2012.

Alex Hildred, is Head of Research and Curator of Ordnance and Human Remains at the Mary Rose Trust. She has worked at the Trust for over forty years and has been instrumental in the preservation, investigation and publication of the Mary Rose wreck.

Abigail Parkes is a PhD candidate at Southampton University who is investigating the structural and functional capabilities of historic longbows focussing on those discovered on the Mary Rose wreck.

Christopher Dobbs is Head of Interpretation and Maritime Archaeology at the Mary Rose Trust and was one of the original dive team that excavated the Mary Rose. He has spent the last forty years devoting his professional life to preserving and promoting the wreck of the Mary Rose.