Forged Arrowheads by Tom Mareschall
For most of us "normal" archers our arrow points are generally adapted to shoot into a straw target or a foam 3D, this usually means a metal point, which, to all intent and purposes is blunt. Of course you wouldn't want to get hit by one but they have little semblance to an arrow which has an altogether more malevolent aspiration. For the vast majority of time that archery has been in existence the bow and arrow were either used for hunting or for warfare and today's recreational archer is no less fascinated by the business end of antiquarian arrows despite that fact that archers are seldom involved in modern wars.
For us archers in the UK there is only one traditional bow, the English Longbow of course. I dare say there isn't a longbowman alive that doesn't want to shoot a proper arrow. A proper arrow would be one used in warfare anywhere between 1100 and 1595 when it was finally retired from military service.
I have a pretty extensive collection of medieval style arrows, when you have a bunch of them in your hand you know all about it, when non-archery folk see the sized of a military arrow they always are surprised, it's only then when they feel the weight that they start to have an appreciation of the size of the bow necessary to send one of them up to 300 yards. Back in the day Longbow arrows, or more pertinently the arrow heads would have been readily available. In fact it was a huge industry, just imagine the million ( literally) of arrows that were taken on campaign or the hundreds of thousands bought by independent companies of archers off for a jolly to France. There were laws regarding the quality and price and a good fletcher or smith could make himself a fortune, not just that but a man with such a trade would find himself greatly sought after by the lasses ( I guess they (smiths) were able to pick and choose..... and more than one if the number of Smiths surnames around today are anything to go by.
Nowadays there is little call for a talented arrowhead maker and they are few and far between, there are several very famous ones and for the modern ironworker who wants to produce replica arrow heads there are few ways into it as a trade. One method.... and the one chosen by Tom Mareschall is to study under the tutelage of someone who could be called a Grandmaster Smith, namely Hector Cole.
Tom has been a Smith for around 10 years and 3 years ago he met Hector and under his guidance learned the art of Arrowheads and blades.
He likes to work with a traditional coal fired forge and hand bellows, each individual head is a labour of love, made this way they take not only time but considerable effort, the wonderful thing about a handmade item like this is that there won't be another one like it, regardless of how you may try to make them all the same there will always be tiny differences and that's what makes them such a joy to own.
Having said all that about the individuality and the sheer phsical effort that goes in to making these the prices are more than reasonable and there isn't really an excuse not to own at least a few, even from a moderate weight Longbow you can fling about an arrow with a nice bit of iron on the tip... The short Bodkin is just a fiver (£5) and the leaf shaped just £7, the swallowtail is £22 and fire welded.
These can all be made for different sized shafts and in different weights so it isn't as if you have to shoot a 180# bow to get the best out of them... talk to Tom and he will make you what you want.. you could even make up just a few as wall hangers in the workshop if you were minded to. The 3 I have are now part of my little collection and even if they are rarely shot I love looking at them....
Features & Design
A genuine hand forged arrowhead in the style of arrowheads of old
Not found any knight to shoot them at yet but they certainly stand up to being shot as high and as far as I can..
Value for Money
I think the word I am looking for is "cheap" , come on... a fiver for a hand forged bodkin... check out the prices of machine produced mod-bods and you will see that the real thing is excellent value here...
If you shoot a Traditional English Longbow ( and even if you don't) how come you don't shoot traditional English warheads ???