(adapted from an article by Dennis Nielsen written in 1981 and another by Shelagh Ryan written to celebrate 200 years of archery in Hertfordshire in 1988)

Early History

Archers were originally training for war. Various laws and ordinances were passed requiring men of certain value to own a bow and arrows and to practice with them. There were various sites in Hertfordshire where this was done including Hartham Common where tournaments were also held.

Eighteenth Century
By the 18th century, archery was not needed as a means of waging war and it was generally practised by a few gentlemen ‘more remarkable for their antiquarian enthusiasm than for their skill’. Archery as a fashionable sport had a short outing in the 1780s. The Prince Regent was very taken with it and helped to establish a system of five scoring zones. Whatever the Prince Regent did was closely followed by society and clubs sprang up all over the country.

19th Century …