Dave B

Dave B

Posted on 10/21/2015


Photo taken on October 19, 2015



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The Little Pond The Little Pond


Cheshire Cheshire


History History


United Kingdom (UK) United Kingdom (UK)


England England



Keywords

Cheshire
Archer
Longbow
Macclesfield
Local history
Prestbury


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Prestbury church and marks of Mediaeval social life

Prestbury church and marks of Mediaeval social life
They are not marks of architecture or of mystical practices but of actual social life from the 1300's. At least, that was what I was always told about them. I refer to the two dark curved grooves at the right of the picture. Back in the 13 and 1400's the prime weapon of the English army was the feared Longbow (sometimes called the English but also the Welsh Longbow) but it had one great disadvantage. It was hard to master and needed considerable strength and skill to use effectively. Add to which the government of the day could not afford an a standing army of any size (nothing new there then) and expected to call on the general population to rally when needed. Hence, there were laws to make that population war-ready. It was expected that all workers (usually farm workers who had year round tasks) practise the longbow on holidays. They used churchyards as places which were largely free of buildings and convenient for use after Sunday services (Sunday, after-all, being a holy day free from most work.) Those marks are grooves said to be where the archers sharpened their practice arrows during such activities. I would imagine, in the nature of things, such practices would turn into joyous social meetings.

This formidable weapon needed hours of practice to build up the muscles specially needed for their use. Skeletons of archers can be recognised from their abnormal bone development. I have read that the archers of the battles of Crecy 1346 and Agincourt 1415 could have out-performed in range, fire-power, and accuracy the Redcoats of Waterloo 1815. The trouble was those archers took years to prepare whereas the redcoats took weeks.

Finally, the cream of the longbowmen were said to be the Cheshire archers and, of those, the first to be recruited into the army of Edward III came from the Macclesfield Hundred (Cheshire East to-day) which main church was here at Prestbury. Perhaps these marks have direct links to Crecy and Agincourt.

Ewald's Augenblicke, Les's Photography AKA aligeeach have particularly liked this photo


Comments
Les's Photography AKA aligeeach
Les's Photography AK…
Thank you for posting this excellent image into the group it is reflecting beautifully in The Little Pond .
Admired In
www.ipernity.com/group/thelittlepond
22 months ago.
Dave B has replied to Les's Photography AK…
Thank you Les.
22 months ago.
Ewald's Augenblicke
Ewald's Augenblicke
Schöne Strukturen und eine gute Beschreibung!*
22 months ago.
Dave B has replied to Ewald's Augenblicke
Danke. Geschichte und besonders die lokale Geschichte, war schon immer eines meiner Interessen. Einer meiner direkten Vorfahren wurde in dieser Kirche im Jahre 1764 verheiratet und meine Familie in der Gegend, da zumindest die Mittel 1500 gewesen sein. Vielleicht waren Bogenschützen selbst haben. (Google Übersetzer.)
22 months ago.