Saturday, 7 July 2018


The crossbow  illustrated is my  next major restoration  job to  be done. I  purchased it last week  in one of  the major London auction rooms. It was made  by J. Blancher of  Attleborough (in Norfolk) probably in the mid / late 1600 -s ,and is  (in its way) rather  a  handsome weapon.

Since  then  I  have been studying Sir Ralph Payne - Gallwey's book  'The
Crossbow'. It was first published in 1903,  and  has (to my mind) never been bettered as  a text book on crossbows. There are four small  iron parts to be made, which will fix the bow firmly into the  stock , and two more slightly larger iron pieces that keep everything firmly in position. All are illustrated in Payne -Gallwey's book, and will have to be made to the correct sizes of the  vacant holes in the stock. In a repair job of  this  sort the holes that remain in the  stock, dictate accurately the  sizes of the missing parts. It should take a while (and keep me busy).  Must try and remember to take 'after' pictures to show when all's done -watch this  space.

Just been called  up for  lunch by Ruth.


Rog said...

Always good to add another string to your bow Mike!! I don’t think Blancher still has a base in Attleborough somehow🤓

Mike said...

Hello Rog. I've been trying to chase up Mr. Blancher - without much success. There do seem to be a lot of Blanchers and Blanchards in the area, though. And also a good many 'Norfolk' sporting cross bows, as opposed to North country stone bows. I would think this one was designed for ground game (rabits and hare) up to red deer. Also - don't let anyone persuade you that these weapons were made for poachers. The poaching gentry couldn't have afforded this sort of thing. I've seen an English stone bow with a rosewood stock and silver mounts!!