9.30am to 5pm

English Longbow Course - Weald & Dowland Museum

The course

There is a saying that ‘a great bow is nine tenths broken at full draw’, but by understanding the properties of timber and with skills, we can take timber to its limit (and return!) to produce an implement of incredible beauty and practicality.

Starting with a simple stave of laminated timber you will learn to shape a fully working bow based on the design of the great bow of the hundred years war.

The tutor

John Rhyder is an expert naturalist specialising in outdoor skills and human relationships with the natural world.  He offers intriguing knowledge about wildlife, tracking, plants and trees plus first hand experience of an impressive array of traditional and indigenous crafts.

After working as head instructor for Ray Mears, the international survival expert, he now runs his own company Woodcraft School offering training courses in bushcraft and nature awareness in West Sussex.

Participant information

The course will be limited to 8 participants.

Please wear sensible working clothes and sturdy footwear. You may wish to bring a notebook and pencil.

Please do not bring your own knives or any other cutting tools as you will be loaned appropriate equipment when necessary.


£260 per person to include all materials and use of tools, and teas and coffees. The Museum café will be open for lunch, or you may bring a packed lunch each day.

The Museum

The Weald & Downland Open Air Museum has over 45 historic building exhibits.  It is also home to the award winning and innovative Downland Gridshell, which houses a conservation workshop and artefact store, and is also used for many practical courses.  The Museum runs a full programme of courses in historic building conservation and traditional rural trades and crafts, along with MSc programmes in Building Conservation and Timber Building Conservation validated by the University of York. Please telephone for further details.

To book, download a form here. Alternatively, fill in the booking request below. Please read our terms and conditions before booking.

Make a Booking Request

This is an initial booking request form, and does not guarantee a place on the course. The Adult Learning Team will check the availability of the course, and reply to you as soon as possible - usually within one working day.