Information and tips for ordering an English Longbow



It could be argued that nothing has shaped the social and military history of England more than the English Longbow. This enigmatic piece of Yew wood is a part of our heritage that is rich in both fact and fiction and yet there is no doubt of the true effectiveness of the English archer and the English Longbow.

Our longbows offer the modern sporting  archer the opportunity to own a unique expression of this ultimate English icon. Both beautiful and practical our longbows are a pleasure to hold and a joy to shoot. The top quality Pacific Yew used for our longbows performs faultlessly and consistently and with the proper care should last a lifetime. It is interesting to bear in mind that each longbow originally comes from a tree that is many hundreds of years old and each stave can contain over one hundred years of growth rings.

These longbows are a work of art and a labour of love though ultimately they are intended to be used and enjoyed, preferably on a hot afternoon in your favourite piece of countryside.


Though these longbows are suitable for anyone, (young, old, beginners, experienced) there are a couple of points that should be considered before buying a longbow.

Being over 6 feet long, ease of transportation is a factor to consider.

Most archery clubs should embrace the use of  a self Yew longbow but check first and also for  those people who enter competitions it would be worth checking the bow fits exactly with your required specifications.

If you are an experienced archer you may be wanting a different draw weight bow. A self yew English longbow will (in my experience) out perform a similar weight wood laminate longbow and may therefore allow a lighter draw weight. The smooth and even distribution of power in a self yew English longbow during the draw also allows higher draw weights to be reached more comfortably.  Longbows are made to order and in certain cases will require a 100 deposit. Bow take around 3-4 weeks to complete.

For beginners a rough guide for an optimal yet comfortable draw weight would be 30 -40 lb for females and 35 - 50 lb for males, measured at 27-28 inches draw length.


These longbows require no maintenance  but there are a couple of points to consider in their care.

The most important consideration in the care of these longbows is that they should not be stored in hot conditions or anywhere near a radiator or heat source. Excessive drying of the bows natural ambient moisture levels will result in increased stress on the wood and could lead to warping or even failure.

The natural moisture levels in the wood also means it is very strongly recommended that yew bows are not used when the temperature is below freezing. 

Damp conditions can also be detrimental, leading to a reduction in the bows draw weight and can in extreme conditions cause warping of the wood.

The sap wood of Pacific yew is very soft and can be marked very easily. Bow bags or carry tubes are recommended.

Do not leave the bow strung when not in use as this could eventually cause a reduction in power.



Ordering a Longbow

The two main points to address when ordering a longbow are the draw length and draw weight as these should reflect the individual needs of the archer. if you are not sure it would be best to try before you buy.

As a rough guide a longbow pulling around 40-45lb at 28 inches would be suitable for most average sized people.

If you are ordering a war bow (traditionally pulled to a point near the ear), or you are a taller individual then you will probably need a draw length in excess of the average 28 inches.

War bows are generally tillered to 32 inches of draw length. Longer draw lengths will require a longer than average bow.

Longbows are made with a stiff handle area (to reduce hand shock and improve accuracy) or can be made without (so the bow bends in the handle).

Horn nocks can be made from buffalo horn or cow horn and it may be possible to incorporate your own personal design.

Hand grips can also be made to your own personal requirements.



Frequently asked questions


Q. What arrows should I use.

A. Wooden shafted arrows of cedar or a decent pine and also having a matched spine would be my recommendation. To achieve full draw you need arrows that match the draw length of the bow. (Don't  have extra long arrows as this could lead to over pulling of the bow). Most types of commercially available longbow arrows should be ok but to best suit the string size I would recommend a 5/16 shaft with a corresponding 5/16 nock. War bows should go up to a 3/8 shaft and nock.


Q. How accurate are these longbows.

A. Mankind has been successfully feeding and defending himself for thousands of years using a longbow, which is testimony to their general effective accuracy. Our longbows are made from the best wood available and have a reliable, smooth and consistent action. With adequate practice and a good technique they are very accurate. 


Q. How far do these longbows shoot an arrow.

A. Most average longbows can shoot between 100 and 200 yards but the real distance depends on many factors, draw weight and the arrows design being the most decisive.


Q. Do these longbows have a guarantee.

A. These bows are guaranteed against breakage under normal conditions of use for one year from the date of purchase.

I can guarantee the workmanship employed on these bows and the top quality materials used but ultimately I can not guarantee that a bow will not break. These longbows are engineered with a skill honed with years of experience and follow well established and traditional designs. Under normal conditions and with the proper care they simply should not break. Should this actually happen, within a year of purchase, I will do my utmost to provide a satisfactory replacement or reimbursement. (This applies to Pacific Yew English longbows and war bows only)


Q. Do you ship overseas.

A. Yes we can ship to certain overseas countries, contact us for details.


Q. Are these longbows suitable for re enactment.

A. Yes. Though not based on any specific design our war bows follow the basic design of medieval war bows such as those recovered from the wreck of the Mary Rose and those in use by the English army at the battle of Crecy. They will shoot a heavy medieval style arrow long distances with ease.


Q. Can I come and try a longbow.

A. Yes, if there is any in stock, but I can only offer a shooting distance of about 15 yards in my garden, contact me to make arrangements. E mail me at or ring me on 07908977459.


                    Q. How much is the postage cost.

                A. Using a next day UK courier the cost is 20. Overseas deliveries are approx 50 -100.




Green Man Longbows does not accept any liability for any damage or injury caused from or by the use of these longbows. Buyers must be over 18.

These longbows are intended for recreational use only, Green Man Longbows does not support hunting.