Whether you love Russell Crowe’s latest cinematic outing, Jonas Armstrong’s BBC version, or the depictions by Erroll Flynn, Kevin Costner and Mel Brooks, Robin Hood fans throughout the region should head down to Goodrich Castle, near Ross-on-Wye this summer as the legend returns for displays and have-a-go activities!
Robin Hood will be played by professional archer and re-enactor Kevin Hicks, who is no stranger to the role; as one of the country’s leading historic archers, Kevin regularly dons the hood to play the famous outlaw during Sherwood Forest’s annual festival, showcasing his skills with the longbow and regaling visitors with stories of adventure and escape!
“Throughout the country, children’s bow and arrow sets are the best-selling items in the English Heritage shops, so this week, children will have a chance to learn how to use them properly,” says visitor operations manager, Wendy Amer. “Rather than struggling to launch their arrows, our Robin will show them some of the tricks of the trade, including how to get the sucker-tipped arrows to stick to their targets! Who knows – if some of the newly trained archers are particularly accurate, perhaps he will recruit them to join his band of merry men!”
With the bow an essential part of both the armoury and English culture at the time of Robin Hood – it was the law that every boy from the age of five should learn how to shoot with a bow – Kevin will also demonstrate just how powerful and effective these weapons could be, using his full-size war bow to shoot arrows through a mail vest. He’ll also be bringing along a large sieve crossbow, which is a replica of those mounted on castle walls in medieval England. With the bolt pulled back using a windlass to achieve 700lb of thrust; this weapon was deadly accurate to a range of 300-400 yards – the sniper weapon of choice in castle warfare!
‘Time Travellers Go… Robin Hood’ runs from 11am to 5pm every Thursday in August (5, 12, 19 and 26) at Goodrich Castle.
To find out more visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/goodrich