As you ride along the road, you see a wooden signpost. The sign reads ‘Hockton Barrow, ½ Mile’. What is unusual is that the sign is in the form of a huge wooden arrow, carved from a tree trunk, complete with flights and head. The craftsmanship is outstanding.
Hockton Barrow is close to the edge of a large wood, mainly composed of yew trees. Yew wood is perfect for one craft above all – bowmaking. The wood’s stretchy, elastic heart and tough, hornlike outer layers make it ideal bow material, almost the equivalent of a composite bow. The town is thus famous for its bowyers and its archers. Almost every citizen of Hockton Barrow, with very few exceptions, is an archer. All able-bodied citizens of 15 years and over are required to practice their archery on the village green every Sunday morning.
The town is noted for its good manners as well as its archery. The citizens have a strong sense of civic pride, hospitality and mutual respect. Strangers who keep to these traditions are made welcome, while troublemakers are ejected at the point of several dozen bows at once.