ill look for a reference on double ends...
Butts are composed of turfs of earth, and are in form nearly square, though somewhat resembling a wedge. Those turfs which are dug from a common, where the grass is short, with roots of heath-plants matted in it, are preferred to all others. These are laid upon each other, and pressed tightly together. The length of each butt in front is generally somewhat more than nine feet, the height seven feet, four feet deep at the base, and one foot four inches broad at the top.
These are placed at various distances, generally in sets, and so disposed that they do not stand in the way of the archer when shooting at any of the lengths. Upon them is placed the mark, (about breast-high,) which is a circular piece of thin white pasteboard, of about four inches in diameter.
Other butts, which are now more approved of, are made of straw, laid first in trusses, and then pressed down as tightly as possible, the ends being afterwards cut smooth. Butts of this description, being kept under cover, are very durable, and, from their never injuring the arrow, must be pronounced preferable to those made of earth.
The great advantage of butts is, that they save the trouble of carrying targets and their stands to the ground; nothing more being necessary in butt-shooting than the small pasteboard target, of which we have before spoken, which may be conveyed without any inconvenience to the place of exercise, and easily fixed on the butt. Earthen butts, or mounds, for archers to practise at, were formerly erected by statute in every parish in England. 33 Henry VIII. cap. 9.
----- Original Message -----
From: Dirk Edward of Frisia
Sent: Sunday, April 05, 2009 11:00 AM
Subject: [SCA-Archery] Re: Sod Butt
I find it interesting that they had two butts roughly 100 meters apart- in a line with each other, like a set of horse shoe pits would be made. Perhaps the idea of an 'end' - the round of shooting- comes from this? Hmmm, that's speculation on my part, but it would make sense- you shoot, walk to the other end- retrieve and shoot at the other end etc. Efficient way to practice!
I'm thinking about trying this out in my yard where I need a backstop. I have a good spot to do this and I may be able to make two short range butts- about 30 yards apart.
Damn- yet another project!
Dirk Edward of Frisia
--- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, "jameswolfden" <jameswolfden@...> wrote:
> This sounds like a fun project.
> I have come across this website on the archery butts as historical monuments which includes a description of the butts found in England.
> The page on the general description gives the most useful information.
> It is interesting to note the target mounds are described as circular with a flat top with diameter from 2-8 meters and a height of 1-3 meters. The flat top makes me speculate that the goal was to drop the arrows onto the top of the butt in a clout-style shoot rather than hit a roundel mounted on the curved side of the butt. Not that both couldn't have been done. At a diameter of 8 meters, the curve would not be that noticable.
> For your roundel, I believe the lids of barrels were used late in period. You might be able to recreate a lid out of thin slats (1/4" or less) of an arrow friendly wood (i.e. a pine, fir, or spruce that will break before your arrow does).
> Leaves and seashells should work too.
> In Service,
> --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, Jeff Morton <ioldanach@> wrote:
> > I'm considering switching from a straw bale butt at home to a sod butt. I'm
> > wondering if there is any documentation that gets into particulars of the
> > construction of a sod butt, or should I basically let the grass get long
> > before I slice the sod into strips, pull it, and arrange it to form the
> > butt.
> > Once constructed, I'll want to cut the face flat, with a slight slope back
> > to account for erosion once the sod degrades. Will this surface be adequate
> > to affix a modern royal round target face to, and will the royal round be
> > legitimate? (i.e., will there be an issue with the non-plumb face).
> > Would anyone have issue with shooting at a sod butt? I don't expect it
> > would eat tips, but I don't know if archers might get unhappy if their gear
> > were to get dirty, and I'd probably need to keep rags handy so people could
> > wipe their arrows clean between rounds.
> > Of course, I'll also be using it for period style shoots, as well, so I'll
> > want ideas on what to mount in the center when doing so. I seem to recall
> > that, currently, the thought is medieval targets were held to the butt with
> > a peg, and the target might have been a roundel, or shape. I don't know
> > what to construct the shape with, and I'm wondering if there is any
> > documentation on what was used or should I be extrapolating from other
> > activities to see what might have been used. My first inclination is to
> > make the roundels of dyed stiff leather.
> > I'd be much obliged to any references people could point to that I can track
> > down and read in detail, I'm not quite sure where to start.
> > - Broch / Jeff
> > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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