Meet the Crew of the Mary Rose


The English were famous for their use of the longbow. Most other countries were changing to guns, but the longbow was quicker to reload!

Boys started training to use the bow at seven years old – it takes a lot of training to build up the muscles and skills of an archer!




137 whole bows were found on the Mary Rose. The bowmen would have to quite tall to use one of these bows, which had an average length of 1.98 metres.

The bows were made from yew. This wood mostly came from Italy and Spain. Many of the bows were found in special long chests.


Arrows as found (top) and reconstructed (bottom)
We found more than 3,500 arrows on the Mary Rose! Like the bows, most of the arrows were found in chests. When the chests were opened, the arrows looked like those at the top of the picture. The arrow heads had rusted away and the feathers had vanished.


The bottom picture shows how they would have looked originally. They had flights made from the feathers of geese or swans. The iron heads would have had nasty barbs, making them hard to remove after being shot.


The archers would have shot their arrows from the upper decks of the ship. They were protected by wooden blinds, which could be taken away to allow them to shoot at the enemy.