Great Wardmote of the Woodmen of Arden

Great Wardmote of the Woodmen of Arden

First week in August
The Great Wardmote, an archery contest organized much the same way it was in medieval times, takes place during the first week in August. It is held in the village of Meriden, which stands in the middle of the once-vast Forest of Arden and claims to be the geographical center of England. Meetings were traditionally held here to discuss the rights and duties of the foresters. In 1785 the various groups of woodmen joined together into one company, the Woodmen of Arden. Today its 80 members attend their annual four-day meeting in August wearing 18th-century dress, including green hats, green coats with gilt buttons, and white trousers.
The woodmen shoot with six-foot bows made of yew and arrows marked with a stamp that denotes their weight in silver. This medieval convention reflects a time when archery was of crucial importance in battle and shooting practice was mandatory in most towns.
CONTACTS:
Visit Britain
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SOURCES:
EngCustUse-1941, p. 134
FolkCal-1930, p. 159
YrFest-1972, p. 57
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