The Target Field

Many of the local fields have names defining their ownership or use. 

The Target Filed is situated near Pelter Bridge.

The name Target Field dates back to the time when the longbow, due to its long-range capabilities, was the English army’s most important weapon and sovereigns endeavoured to make the use of the bow obligatory. 

Henry III decreed in 1252 that “all citizens, burgess, free tenants, villeins and others from 15 to 60 years of age” should be armed.

A royal decree of 1363 obliged all Englishmen to practice archery each Sunday and holiday - whether they wanted to or not - in order that they should be proficient if the need should arise to fight.

Every person ‘“not having  a greater interest in land then 100d” ( approx 50p) was required to posses a bow and arrow. 

Parents were required to provide every boy from the age of 7 to 17 years of age with a bow and two arrows. 

On reaching 17 the boy was expected to provide his own bow and four arrows. 

Butts for the practice of archery were set up in each community and a penalty of 40 shillings (a huge amount!) was imposed on any who prohibited archery practice taking place. Consequently games such as football and card or dice playing fell into this category and so were effectively frowned on if they interfered with archery practice.

In the late 15th century, due to the development of armaments archery had been superseded by more modern weaponry but its practice was revived by Henry VIII who, shortly after his accession, extended the qualification with respect to the use of the crossbow requiring all his subjects under the age of 60,  “excepting the lame, diseased,maimed or those had any other lawful impediment and excepting the judiciary, clergy etc. to again take up use shooting of the longbow”. The penalty for default being 12d (approx 6p) per month.

Listed Buildings