City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

The Royal Company of Archers - Edinburgh Arrow


By actionman - Posted on 20 April 2011

RCA: Drawing the bow
Event details
Venue: 
The Meadows

The annual Edinburgh Arrow is a prize competed for by the Queen's Bodyguard for Scotland - The Royal Company of Archers. This will be the 303rd Edinburgh Arrow shoot.

The official date that The Royal Company was founded is 1676 although some members appear to have been competing for archery prizes as early as 1603 as shown by the medallions on an earlier prize - The Musselburgh Arrow.   However, it was in 1709 that the Magistrates of Edinburgh presented a silver arrow to be competed for by members of The Royal Company as an archery prize.   Originally a prize of five pounds was given to the winner by "The Magistrates" of the City but this fell into abeyance after 1716.

Early records show that The Royal Company used to march with its drums and colours to the location for the shoot. 

The competition takes place on The Meadows on the north side in East Meadow Park in an area which is normally roped off by the City Council.

The prize is shot for over a distance of 180 yards with two targets or 'clouts' as the aiming mark - one at each end of the range.

In recent years when the competition ended, and the Edinburgh Arrow presented to the winner by The Lord Provost,  the Royal Company competitors would march back to Archers' Hall on the High Street led by the Lord Provost and Councillors for a reception.

Related features

300th Anniversary Edinburgh Arrow photos At the 300th anniversary in 2009, the Lord Provost and Councillors led  the archers of The Royal Company back to the City Chambers to celebrate the special tercentenary of the Edinburgh Arrow prize competition.

Edinburgh Arrow Video (shot at the 2008 Edinburgh Arrow)