Artem Case Studies
Hands-On at the Mary Rose Mary Rose Museum
For the Mary Rose Museum at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Artem built a pair of interactive longbows for inclusion in the new exhibition.
The Mary Rose Trust’s Exhibition Coordinator, Nick Butterley, along with his interactive designer Richard Glassborow, approached Artem’s creative designers, requesting an upgraded replacement for a popular exhibit that had been housed inside the old museum.
The challenge was to bring to life how the original bows worked. With a pull of around 80 pounds (36 kilograms) for the adult bow, the longbows are mounted against a display case, with a rise and fall element that allows the arrow to be lifted to eye level. The bow floats in a mid-position so that the ‘archer’ can push the bow away as well as pull the string. This allows visitors to really feel what it was like to use the longbow.
Often termed ‘the medieval machine gun’, the longbow was one of the most lethal anti-personnel weapons of its time, requiring great strength and skill to operate. The size of the longbow itself (between 6 and 7 feet long), together with the sheer volume and speed of the arrows that could be shot, made archers vital to any battle, including the Battle of the Solent during which the Mary Rose sank.
Artem and the Mary Rose Museum wanted to give visitors an idea of the strength and skill required to actually use such a powerful weapon. In the adjacent display cases are many of the 138 original longbows, ready for war, but that instead sank with the ship almost 500 years ago.
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