Arrows in the Mist – Naseby Christmas Clout Shoot 2021

It’s Advent, a season of lights, spices, hot chocolate and Christmas joy… and mist. Lots and lots of mist.

The Harringtons decided our pre Christmas gathering would be a short clout archery shoot at the Naseby Battlefield. When we settled on the date we hadn’t quite realised we would be recreating the (Misty) Battle of Barnet.

The day dawned with a mist that rolled in over Cromwell’s mount and a slow but variable wind that played rather havoc with finding the target range for dropping arrows onto. Clout shooting is archery at the extreme end range of your bow, a direct shot is not possible and instead you have to increase the distance by increasing the angle of the shot. This takes practice and skill, and indeed puts the arch into archery. It also simulates the shooting at range at the start of medieval battles, including the famous opening volleys in the snow at the Battle of Towton.

We had four different ranges dependent on ability and bow strength and named for our friends. They were our now traditional Bayard, Cobham and Bonivant ranges (they can’t shoot back as their bows delaminate in the mist), plus for the first time the extreme range shot we are calling the Hartley range. (Because you have to be jammy to hit it – Editor)

Arthur was shooting the extreme range with his war bow. Even then the wind was assisting and he landed even further than he first realised.

The safest rubber chicken in all Christendom..

The Shoot consisted of 10 ends of 6 arrows each, with a rather civilised lunch break half way through. As the sun lowered over the horizon the scores were as follows:

1.Tom C.Adult Long (Bonivant)115
2.Alex F.JuniorShort (Bayard)55
3Mark S.World Weary CaretakerMedium (Cobham)50
4.Ant F.Adult (Height restriction permitting)Medium (Cobham)44
4Lady H.*Corby GirlMedium (Cobham)30
5Arthur T.Rather Large AdultExtreme (Hartley)17
6.Steph B.1.1% of the Adult Human Population Medium (Cobham)11
7Morgan S.MunchkinShort (Bayard)3

*Lady H arrived fashionably late and only shot half the course after lunch. Apparently had she bothered to get out of bed she would have wiped the floor with us.

Congratulations to Tom who wins the prize of a fine selection of mince pies. It was a lovely way to spend a December Saturday, and we are grateful for the use of the site. We will return in the new year, and until then we wish you all a merry Christmas and a safe and happy 2022.


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