I make longbows for all styles of archery. My design philosophy is to reach back and bring to the present the longbow from the great days of English archery i.e. the medieval to Tudor era – rather than the more recent Victorian tradition. My bows are constructed from various laminated hardwoods that are very strong and yield excellent cast.
A truly traditional medieval style bow would have to be self – yew, ash, elm, hazel or other British wood available to the medieval bowyer. I call my bows ‘classic bows’ because they are constructed from laminates unlike the medieval bow, but the design is in every other way the ‘classic’ full-compass tiller that goes back to the great days of the English longbow. I see my bows in their design as continuing the true tradition of bow-making in England, Britain and indeed the whole of northern Europe. I make heavy bows to emulate the medieval warbow as well as lighter bows for target and field archery and I will design the bow specifically to suit the style of archery for which it is intended. I make bows of any draw weight or draw length to suit any archer. The full-compass tiller employs all of the bow stave in the storage of energy and thus is very efficient. While the Victorian style tiller can be very stable, with the right design features that I incorporate, a full-compass bow can shoot with a very steady, accurate, smooth action with little or almost no hand-shock – but greater efficiency.
To me, the bow is a practical tool designed to do a job of work efficiently and well and there is none other so beautiful in its perfected mechanical simplicity than the English longbow. Many cultures throughout the world have created their particular designs – all very different and brilliant in their own way. However, what I seek to create is the straight-forward business-like, simple, yet highly effective style of the classic longbow. Although my main focus is the English and Welsh bow, I also incorporate the styles of the ancestral longbows and like to create working replicas of Viking, Norman and Saxon longbows for anyone who has a liking for those cultures.
Some of my bows are no more than the straight stave – unadorned, plain and utilitarian. This is as many would have been in the middle-ages when only function mattered – looks were not considered and these would be of particular interest to the re-enactor. However, most of my bows at least have hand-carved horn nocks as these finish-off a bow beautifully and my preferred style is simply for the horn nocks at the ends and a simple inlaid horn plate at the arrow-pass. To me that is the essential longbow. The option of an additional leather grip though is also offered for many archers today who prefer this.