Fletchers’ Prize Arrows

Prize arrows made by Honorary Liveryman, Lindsay Head and her husband and Liverymen of the Bowyers’ Company, Richard, are put on display at Fletchers’ dinners, and are also given to various worthy recipients.

The arrow in the picture – which measures nine inches overall – is made from poplar, a wood commonly used for arrows in the Medieval period. The shaft ‘bobtails’ i.e.: it tapers from the head to the nock end, a profile common in war arrows.

A slot is cut in the nock end and the makers glue in a horn insert to strengthen it, a method used on the arrows recovered from the Mary Rose.

The arrow is fletched with the brown wing feathers from a peacock as these are very strong.  After gluing them to the shaft they are bound on with red silk – this was intended to stop the feathers coming off in wet weather as the glues in the Medieval period were not waterproof.

The arrowhead is made to a Medieval pattern in solid silver.  The whole arrow is then supported off the yew base by two brass rods to give the impression that the arrow is flying through the air.


(excerpts from an article by Lindsay Head, La Fleche issue 47b January 2017)