What Is An English Longbow?

The Longbow has been one of the most dreadful military weapons of the Mediaeval times, renowned for the victorious outcomes in The Hundred Years' War.

While the English Longbow is remembered as a powerful weapon, what exactly made it so impactful?

During the Hundred Years' War, longbows played a significant role in the English victory at the battle of Sluys, Crecy, Poitiers, and Agincourt.

The English Longbows were used to help the English win a decisive triumph by killing many French at the long range. It was a weapon that could determine a battle's outcome.

The English, for example, swept the Battle of Crécy in 1346 despite being vastly outnumbered by the French, all because of their efficient weaponry.

The English weaponry provided archers with the ability to fire more arrows per minute compared to crossbows, combined with the weapon's long range, giving the outnumbered English an advantage in the Wars of Crecy as well as Agincourt.

English Longbow

The English longbow was introduced to European battlefields in the 14th century, transforming the arrow into a powerful battlefield missile.

The renowned shaft was about half the length of the famous longbow, which appears to have originated in Wales.

The bow is extended fully with one arm, and the arrow is pulled back to the bowman's ear. Enabling an archer to fire six aimed shots per minute, with an optimal range of around 200 yards, and shooting the arrow, twice or thrice as far.

What is it made of

Traditional English Longbows were made of horn, wood, and, most commonly, elm or yew.

Back in the Middle Ages, Yews were overrun by the extreme demand for arrows and bows that they're now considered almost extinct in the wild.

As a result, the materials utilized today for English longbow construction are Maple, Robinia, or Maclura, which have similar properties to yew.

Shooting range

Archers using English longbows can hit targets up to 350 meters away with a single long-range shot.

A distance of about seventy meters can be easily mastered by archers looking for precision. This holds true even for moving targets!

As of today, we cannot specify how far a longbow can shoot because it depends on draw weight, bow size, using the right strategy, and the archer's experience.

Choosing the right English Longbow

Now that we have equipped you with the basic knowledge regarding an English Longbow, it's time to dive deeper into the intricacies of choosing the suitable bow for you.

One of the challenges faced by new archers when purchasing their first bow is determining the appropriate 'draw weight.' The weight of a bow is crucial to determine how accurately you shoot. Your bow draw weight indicates how much force is required to draw the bow to a target position, and it is important for a new archer not to be 'overbowed.' This means the bow's weight shouldn't be too high for the archer to manage. Therefore, lighter draw weight is suggested for beginners and can go up as you progress your skills.

Aside from the weight of the bow, the 'size' of your English Longbow requires equal attention.

Generally, the longbow should be roughly the same size as the archer. Today, however, some bows are slightly shorter but still make the cut as longbows. If you are still a beginner in archery, you should consider using such bows. Not only are they convenient to transport, but they are also simpler to operate.

English Longbows vs. regular longbows

A regular longbow is light, easy to shoot, and durable. It is uncomplicated to brace safely (both for the bow and for you) without using a stringer.

It is relatively cheaper but requires strength along-with skill to use effectively.

An English Longbow, in contrast, is much easier to aim and draw because of its size. Due to its early origin, it is great for medieval re-enactment.

It is slightly less expensive than modern bows and therefore lacks high-end features such as arrow rests and stabilizers. In terms of shooting power, it is relatively efficient compared to many other bow types.

Best English Longbow pick

If you are seeking the aesthetic and nostalgia of a traditionally handcrafted English Longbow, this bow from Stingray is an excellent choice.

This manufacturer not only receives high marks for customer support, but it also ranks first on Online stores for handmade archery equipment.

While the bow is ready to shoot when it arrives, it is fully customizable for archers who like to personalize their bows.

Because it is entirely made of wood, you can dye and respray it and even sand the pistol grip to precisely fit your hand.

This bow is lightweight and shoots exceptionally well, making it ideal for target shooting and game hunting.


The English Longbow has been one of the most well-known medieval weapons that was overshadowed by the introduction of firearms, which demanded less training and allowed leaders to raise armies for battle rapidly.

Though it required rigorous training, the longbow could be devastating on the battlefield.

If you're fond of medieval antiques that provide aesthetics and catastrophic outcomes, this is just the right bow for you!

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