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Carrickfergus Castle Living History- archery

The long bow was an important weapon in the armoury of medieval castles, so I braved the rain and paid a visit to Carrickfergus Castle for the Living History archery display.

Roy demonstrates the Long bow at Carrickfergus Castle
Roy demonstrates the  use of long-bow at Carrick Castle

Roy and his colleagues were at the castle to demonstrate the skill and power of the long-bow archer.  Roy showed the various types of arrow heads used for different types of targets and explained how the the position of the extended bow affected the trajectory of the arrow. I was surprised at the speed and power of the bow; 80-120 lbs force, and the flexibility and capability of such a mechanically-simple device. If the long-bow man kept his arrows at his side or stuck in the ground beside him, he was able to shoot 10-12 arrows per minute and achieve distances of 150 -250 yards.

Children queue up to try out their long bow skills at Carrickfergus Castle
Children queue up to try out their long-bow skills

The public were able to try their hand at some medieval target practice and very soon there was a long queue of excited children (and parents) waiting to have a go on the modern bows.

Archery, because of its accessibility, provides an engaging introduction to medieval military history. I will be incorporating low-bows into the Carrick Siege! app, but  I will need to spend some time experimenting with video footage and on-screen interaction before I can achieve any of the engagement that a hands-on demonstration provides.