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Posted on Dec 15, 2005 in Front Page Features, Stuff We Like

Palmerston Forts – Part 4 – The Royal Armouries Museum

Armchair General


A great many of the larger exhibits can still be found on the Parade Ground within the Artillery Hall, which is situated between the two WWII ammunition sheds.

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This massive gun to the left is a Turkish bronze bombard dating from 1464, shortly after the fall of Constantinople. Built in to sections, one half would contain the charge, the other would contain the projectile and for each firing the gun would have to be unscrewed, loaded and screwed tight again. To the right, another 64-Pounded of the type shown earlier in this tour.


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The gun on the red carriage is an English bronze saker dating from 1601 of the type that would have been used during the English Civil Wars of the mid 17th century. It has a calibre of 3.8 inches. To the right, we see a 68-Pounder cast iron British carronade from 1790. Used for firing heavy shot by Britsh warships, the type proved to be invaluable during the war of 1812. The American Essex was defeated by HMS Phoebe during that conflict, mainly with this type of weapon.

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And here is a British 16-Pounder wrought-iron RML gun dating from 1873 designed for attacking earthwork and trench defences with heavy firepower. Next to it, a British bronze 12-Pounder field gun and carriage from 1798.

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I think this chap might be confused as to which gun he’s meant to load…


Here’s another British gun circa 1873/1874 – this time it’s a 9-pounder muzzle-loading weapon designed after problems were encountered with breech-loading guns in the mid 19th century. Breech guns did of course become the norm’ once more, with muzzle loaders never really proving themselves entirely satisfactorily.

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