by Mark North

Most of you will know that this year is the 600th anniversary of the battle of Agincourt; if you didn't then shame on you as an archer!

You may also know that I spend many of the summer weekends re-enacting life as a medieval archer/bowyer/fletcher which explains my absence from club and Heritage shoots on Sundays.

July 23rd-26th July saw the living history fraternity at Azincourt in NE France re-enacting the battle. Planning started 5 years ago with the rather ambitious aim of getting 1000 archers to enlist. After a series of difficulties and near collapse of the whole event it did take place with 220 archers and probably the same number of men-at-arms. The battle was scripted to reflect some of the recorded events of the actual battle (without the horses and of course the bloodshed) and was watched by a huge, very appreciative crowd (considering they were mostly French).

For the archers amongst us there were 2 other displays: firstly a war bow demonstration with bows of 100lbs and more shooting sharps at mail and plate armour targets, then at a wooden pavise 150 yds away, and secondly a "Big Shoot" with all 220+ archers shooting in volley at a band of knights - only blunts of course.
It was a wonderful event with a huge encampment, a trader's market, tavern etc but it was also very moving at times to realise the tremendous but awful events that really took place only a stones-throw away from that very spot 600 years ago.

The pictures will give you an idea of the event and of what I do with my weekends.


All the photos for the event can be found in the Agincourt 600 - 2015 album.