Medieval Compound 240#@28"
Reviewed By AndyHome > Bow Reviews > Medieval Compound 240#@28"
You may have thought that the compound bow was invented back in the 1960's, but Archers Review have been given access to an archaeological dig in Sussex which suggests that a similar principle was used and know as long ago as the 1400's. With the help of Ron Palmer the University of East Sussex have developed a working model of the bow which replicates the methods used. We spoke to head of archaeology Malcolm Saunders about the bow last weekend.
"We found the bow close to an old army strong hold, there is mention of these bows in literature but we have never found one either intact or in it's component parts before. Old English long bows, as a solid length of wood tend to survive well, even under the water, but as these compound bows were made from smaller parts it appears they have disintegrated over the years. To have found one which was virtually intact has been amazing".
"We contacted Ron Palmer to get his thoughts and together we have been able to build a working replica".
Malcolm and his team believe that these bows were common place during the 1400's but the cost and time required to make them caused them to fall out of favour and be replaced by the crossbow.
"The English used longbows as they had a large body of men capable of getting the best from them, on continental Europe the crossbow was used as people didn't need the same strength and skill required to use a longbow. The wooden compound was the English answer to the crossbow. English archers were capable of pulling 180# longbows and we think that these compound versions could have reached up to 240#".
The discovery of the bow could revolutionise the various Primitive bow classes used in different organisations, we spoke to Barry Moon head of the UKFA to get his thoughts.
"The definition of primitive is a bow design that was used over 400 years ago, if carbon dating can be used to prove the age then we would have no grounds to ban the bow in competition".
We hope to test the bow in the near future.