York Archers society


Shooting times

Archery is split into two seasons, indoor and outdoor. Our indoor bookings can be found here so please check this document before turning up.

The locations of our venues can be found here

Indoor bookings usually start in October and run until the end of March, the rest of the time we shoot outdoors. The times of sessions are as follows but not all indoor sessions are booked so do check the booking document.

Wednesday 7pm to 10pm
Fridays 6.30pm to 9.30pm
Sundays 1pm to 5pm

Outdoors (Target)
Wednesday 5pm to dusk
Fridays 5pm to dusk
Sundays 11am to dusk

There are no scheduled clout sessions but it does have priority at the range on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The indoor sessions are set in stone as we book them at Sandburn. The outdoor range, however, is permanent thus any member may shoot at any time (given they follow the rules and proceedures). More details can be found in the induction documents handed out during beginners courses or to any other new member. In general the outdoor times given are when most archers will try and make it to the field.


2018-2019 Club Membership
from 30.00

The pro-rata fee structure is changed manually, please let us know if you believe the amount shown here is incorrect.

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Membership fees are are payable annually from September to cover the year from 1st October - 30th September, in line with our governing body Archery GB.

Senior: £140
Senior (18-24): £70
Junior: £66
Disabled: £80
Senior Citizen: £120
Visiting Archer: £30/£60 (See the visiting archer section below)

We also offer pro rata rates that allow archers to join the society at a reduced rate if they join after the beginning of the shooting year. This applies to archers joining the society in their first year or persons rejoining after a lapse of membership of a least a full year. Visiting Archer fees are not pro rated and run from the 1st October.

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Visiting archers

A visiting archer is any member of another club that wishes to shoot with York Archers at our sessions.

The line fee per person per session is £5.

If visiting for more than one session we cap line fee payments at £30 for archers aged 24 and below, and £60 for those aged above 24. This means that any visitor may decide to pay this capped fee up front and shoot as a visitor all year with no further payments. We will keep track of anybody paying the line fee at multiple sessions and request no further payments above these capped fees.

This system runs on the Archery GB year from October to October just like our membership.

We do request that visiting archers who reach the capped fee fill in a membership form just to be included in club communications and so that we have emergency contact details. The form can be found here and should be completed and handed in once the full visiting archer fee has been paid.


York Archers Society takes pride in being a safe and inclusive environment for children and young people to enjoy the sport of Archery. As a member of Archery GB, we fully support and comply with the Archery GB Codes of Conduct for child protection. Links to the various Codes of Conduct are below. 

Any questions or concerns related to safeguarding can be raised directly to the club Safeguarding Officer.

Code of Conduct - Adult Archers
Code of Conduct - Young Archers
Code of Conduct - Coaches, Leaders and Officials
Code of Conduct - Spectators, Parents and Carer

Club history

For many years, the badge of the York Archers Society has borne the date 1789, a date which would have placed the Society in the forefront of the original revival movement. Research has however shown that this date is in fact erroneous, and that the society was not in fact formed until over 40 years later.

 The earliest book recording Societies of Archers in the UK, 'Anecdotes of Archery' was written in 1791 by a local historian and publisher Eli Hargrove, who records the existence of the "Yorkshire Archers" in Chapeltown, Leeds in 1789. This society held meetings in a number of locations in Yorkshire, including York’s Knavesmire, which had hosted archery meetings from at least 1584. It was in this year that the Earls of Essex and Cumberland staged a match for “£20 a bowe” and a certain Alderman Maltbie took part, along with two Russian ambassadors. There was much wagering and “galloping up and down with nagges”, all recorded in “The Yorkshire Anthology – a new Yorkshyre Song” by William Elderton.

 There is, however no mention of the York Archers Society in this book, and it is not until a second edtion of 'Anecdotes' emerged in 1845, written and updated by A.E.Hargrove, that York Archers Society is mentioned. The entry reads:

In the year 1833, the Society of the York Archers was established, and during the period, between that time and the present, they have increased and prospered. At the shooting for the ancient silver arrow, which was held at Darlington, on the 26th of August, 1841, Mr. Thomas Lambert, who is a member of this society, obtained the first gold, and, consequently, won the arrow, the possession of which confers the title of Captain. At the meeting held at Thirsk, for the same purpose, on the 9th of August, 1843, the silver bugle and Lieutenancy were won by Mr. H. Steward (also a member), who obtained the first red. Last year (1844), the bugle was again won by Mr. H. Steward, who is an excellent marksman. Costume... single-breasted green frock coat, with club buttons, embossed with the city arms, and crossed by a quiver and arrow, having the year 1833, beneath; buff waistcoat, with similar button, of a smaller size; white trousers, for shooting, and black, for dress; green silk velvet cap, with massive gold tassel, and lace.

Local newspaper articles also confirm the date of formation. The Yorkshire Herald Saturday of April 5th 1834 column 5, page 3 carries the following article:

We understand that a Society has been formed for the encouragement of the Noble Science of Archery under the title of the "York Archers Society.

The operations of this society commenced for the season on Tuesday afternoon an Knavesmire, and, the afternoon being fine, there were numbers of Ladies, and others, on the ground, to witness the feats of the merry bowmen.

Archery is a Noble Science, and the use of the bow is associated with some of our most gallant National achievements. We are glad, therefore to announce the existence of a society in York, whose object is the cultivation of Archery, and we heartily wish it success.

The Yorkshire Gazette April 18th 1846 in Col 6 on page 4 carries the following article:

York Archers

The 13th anniversary of this Society was celebrated on Tuesday last. The shooting took place on the Knavesmire, when the Challenge Cup was won by Mr Wilson.

The Captain’s Cup, a Victorian Silver Trophy still in the possession of the Society is clearly engraved “York Archers Society, 1833”

York Archers Society members shot at the first Grand National Archery Meeting in York in 1844, as did members of the Archers of the White Rose (York). Members subsequently travelled to regional and National tournaments, and continued to shoot on Knavesmire until the early part of the 20th Century. They held regular meetings and encouraged the practice of juvenile archery, offering significant and valuable prizes at some shoots. Members of York Archers Society served on the committee formed in York to pursue the formation of the Grand National Archery Society, which finally came into being at the GNAM held at Liverpool in 1861.

The Grand National Meeting returned to York in 1888, in 1893 for the 50th (Jubilee) Meeting, and again in 1907, when the competition was held on the “Gentleman’s Cricket Ground, Wiggington Road”, now the site of the York District Hospital.

York Archers Society also held social meetings at the Elephant and Castle in Skeldergate, a public house which once stood on the site now occupied by the Queen’s Hotel, opposite a private house often visited by Charles Dickens. The owner of this building gave Dickens the basis for the character of Mr Micawber, for whom “something will (always) turn up”.

During and after the First World War, archery in York fell into a decline, and it was not until after the 2nd World War that it began once again to provide healthy recreation to the citizens of York. York Archers remained under the wing of Rowntree Archers until the early 1950's, when they emerged once again in their own right. An article in British Archer, Vol 6 no. 4 April/May 1953 records the return of York Archers to the Northern Counties Archery Society (NCAS)

York Archers

We welcome the return of the York Archers to the NCAS. This club was first formed in 1833. Captain Mr. H. Steward.

Housed first at Clifton Park, and now on Hopgrove Playing Fields, Malton Road. They were central in bringing the World Archery Championships to York in 1971 as part of York’s 900th anniversary celebrations, and have since hosted many tournaments, the last one being Leg 5 of the Archery GB tour in August 2011. Current members include Yorkshire Champions, past and present Yorkshire Team members and County and National record holders, together with a number of fine and well-established Coaches

In 2011, York Archers Society received a communication from Mr Dixon Pickup, an archer, archer-historian and collector of archery regalia. He had recently acquired a Victorian York Archers Society waistcoat button, and has kindly consented to allow us to use an image of it.

Close to one thousand years of history and tradition have made archery in York what it is today. Many people have toiled over the years to keep it alive in a form that will withstand the test of time, and are justly proud of their heritage in the sport that they love. We now know that the date on the Society’s badge was incorrect, and that this had been the case for less than 60 years. By correcting the date, we have both honoured our founders and preserved the heritage of our Society in its correct form for those who will follow in our footsteps. It also allowed us to properly celebrate the 180th year of the Society’s foundation in 2013. We are sure that those who began the journey in which we are all engaged as friends and fellow archers would be proud of their modern counterparts.

Les Tomkinson

Former member - York Archers Society