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English Longbows / Wooden Bows

The main feature of the Anglo-Saxon original longbow is simplicity. Because of its incredible range, it used to be a dreadful weapon of foot-archers. Longbows played an important part during The Hundred-Years' War (1346 Battle of Crecy: 16000 English soldiers defeated 30000 French).

The natural material of longbow is yew. Since yew is protected and there is few, it is difficult to purchase and expensive. We make our bows from the mountains originated yew. (Saxton Pope says that good yew for bowyers comes from the mountains, above 900 m).
Yew can be replaced by osage orange that is easier to get and not so expensive.
Cheaper longbows that are laminations of fibre glass and wood are made from ash.

Yew: Taxus baccata L.
It is evergreen, dioecious tree or branchy shrub. Protected. It grows very slowly, the radius of its trunk grows 1 inch every 65 years that is why the annual rings are so dense. (about 0,5 mm) All the parts of this tree are toxic, except the core coat. Its crop is a red berry.

Osage Orange: Maclura pomifera
It is a middle high, deciduous, thorny tree. Its crop is similar to the orange, a wrinkled, yellowish green, hard, inedible ball. Osage orange is originated from North America.

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