It was a weapon of choice for the medieval warriors at Agincourt and in the Hundred Years War.
And, of course, the longbow was immortalised by the legendary character Robin Hood in his Sherwood Forest days.
Now a woman who helps run an archery club based in Huddersfield has remarkably captured four regional and national titles using a traditional wooden bow and arrows.
Mrs Helen Woodcock is treasurer of Pennine Archers, based in a former textile mill in Linthwaite, and is county champion in both Yorkshire and Lancashire, the Northern Counties Regional Champion and National UK Champion in clout archery.
She managed to get both county titles as she lives in Saddleworth, which used to be part of the old West Riding.
Clout archery is a brand of the sport where the archers shoot into the air from 140 yards to a 12-inch high flag planted in the ground. There are points for the arrows closest to the flag and anything over 8 feet away is classed as a miss.
Mrs Woodcock clinched the national title at Apperley Bridge, near Bradford.
She also takes part in field archery and target shooting and has started coaching stars of the future at the Colne Valley Business Park off Manchester Road.
“I got into it some years ago, while I was head at a primary school in Rochdale.
“We took the children on a weekend adventure course and archery was one of the things we tried.
“That was about 15 years ago and I love it. We set up Pennine Archers last October and moved into Linthwaite in January, with about 20 members.
“Clout arcehry is just one of the types of the sport and I use a traditional longbow, basically a piece of wood and a string. The arrows are wooden but have brightly-coloured fletchings to aid their flight.
“It can be a challenging sport as the wind and rain can have a big effect on how you shoot. It’s also difficult to get in the practice, as you need a lot of space to fire from 140 yards.”
Mrs Woodcock lives with husband Bryan, who is also a Pennine Archer, in Saddleworth and the couple have two daughters, Heather and Bethany.
She said: “It really is a sport for all. Our youngest member is just eight and there’s no upper age limit. It is also a sport anyone with a disability can learn; I haven’t come across anyone yet who cannot learn the sport.
“It need not be expensive. You can get a bow for around £100 but equally, some people spend many thousands on a bow.
“We have some very promising young archers at Linthwaite and hopefully many of them will go on to win titles.”
The club runs beginners’ courses. Full details are available on www.penninearchers.com