the lyvery arrowe and Westminster Abbey ARROWs


(Above)The radiused corners of the fletchings and swept-back tail edge are clear.

tudor bodkins x 3
lyvery arrowe fletches

A replica Westminster Abbey was constructed that faithfully followed the dimensions and materials. The weight was 733 grains (47.5g), slightly heavier than the Mary Rose Trust's prediction of 43.5 grams. Warbow Wales commissioned Master Arrowsmith Hector Cole to produce a Westminster Abbey arrowhead. Notice how close to the socket the barbs are to reduce drag yet would still agonisingly cling to its target. The nock is also finer than many Mary Rose arrows as this would also reduce distance robbing drag. Greylag goose pinions and silk thread seemed suitably authentic materials for its Westminster Abbey provenance. The bindings are covered in the above agent but not as thickly as the original. Medieval heads head would have used isinglass, hide glue, pitch or beeswax to secure it to the shaft but modern adhesives were used. The head is far too beautiful an object to lose to the ground.

warbow wales westminster abbey arrow lowi res
westminster arrow diagram

The Warbow Wales specifications for a reproduction of the Westminster Abbey Arrow

Some of the detail is left to the discretion of the archer, like the shaft wood and the fletching height/cut as these are unknown at present.
With the Westminster Abbey Arrow as a guiding model, the specifications are as follows: -

A straight or bob-tailed shaft must be a minimum of 3/8" (or 10mm) at the shoulder of the arrowhead and midpoint of the shaft. It must be constructed of a wood available to the medieval Welsh fletcher (aspen/poplar or birch is suggested) and be fitted with a horn (for preference) reinforcement at the nock running with the grain. The length from the base of the nock to the arrowhead socket must be 28 7/8" (as the Westminster Abbey Arrow).

The cut of the feather fletchings are left to the archer’s discretion but must be at least 7 1/4” in length and bound on in silk or linen to a minimum of 4 turns per inch (either wound clockwise or anti-clockwise). A low triangle cut is the most likely fletching shape, based on contemporary images; however a hog-back or oil-line cut may also have been possible. Ascham was not convinced of its suitability for war arrows as writes, “ The swine backed fashion maketh the shaft deader for it gathereth more air”. A low fletching area is necessary to reduce drag for effective long range shots. Distance shooting arrows do not need a large fletching action to quickly straighten up unlike point blank shots. Goose, peacock or swan feathers are encouraged

Any small barbed hand-forged steel/iron type 16 head is acceptable, no less than 3/8" at the base of the socket.
NB Hector Cole makes a specific Westminster Abbey Arrow reproduction

There is no minimum weight as the above specification will ensure an effective long-range missle

The Standard Arrow

With respect to the work of Hugh Soar and the late Chris Boyton in reintroducing flight shooting with the military arrow, Warbow Wales will now record the Standard Arrow. This is an inclusive event to increase participation in strong shooting. Unlike the other arrows, the arrow may be shot from any longbow, laminated or otherwise as per the rules of the long-time custodians, the BL-BS. This can also be shot with synthetic strings.
The specification for the arrow may be found

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