The first usage of cannon in Great Britain was in 1327, when they were used in battle by the English against the Scots. Under the Tudors, the first forts featuring cannon batteries were built, while cannon were first used by the Tudor navy. Cannon were used during the English Civil War for both siegework and extensively on the battlefield. Cannon were first used abroad by the English during the Hundred Years War, when primitive artillery was used at the Battle of Crécy. With the Age of Discovery and the establishment of the Thirteen Colonies, cannon saw use in British armies in North America, first against the rival colony of New France, during the American Revolutionary War. From the 18th century to the present day, the Royal Regiment of Artillery has formed the artillery of the British Army; the Royal Navy developed the carronade in the 18th century, although they disappeared from use in the 1850s. As with other western cannon of the period, cannon used by the British Army and the Royal Navy became longer ranged and more destructive in the 19th and 20th centuries.
English cannon saw its first use during the Hundred Years War, being used in small numbers during the 1340s. "Ribaldis" were first mentioned in the English Privy Wardrobe accounts during preparations for the Battle of Crécy between 1345 and 1346. These are believed to have shot large arrows and simplistic grapeshot, but they were so important they were directly controlled by the Royal Wardrobe. According to the contemporary poet Jean Froissart, the English cannon made "two or three discharges on the Genoese", taken to mean individual shots by two or three guns because of the time taken to reload such primitive artillery. Similar cannon appeared at the Siege of Calais the same year and by the 1380s, the "ribaudekin" had become mounted on wheels. Towards the end of the Middle Ages, the development of cannon made revolutionary changes to siege warfare throughout Europe, with many castles becoming susceptible to artillery fire. In England, significant changes were evident from the 16th century, when Henry VIII began building Device Forts between 1539 and 1540 as artillery fortresses to counter the threat of invasion from France and Spain.
They were built by the state at strategic points to form the first powerful cannon batteries, though they had many of the same architectural facets as true castles, they served a purely military function. Deal Castle remains one of the most impressive such Device Forts, was symmetrical, with a low, circular keep at its centre. Over 200 cannon and gun ports were set within the walls, the fort formed a firing platform with a shape that allowed many lines of fire. In addition, its low curved bastions were designed to deflect cannonballs. Cannon were now an inexorable part of English warfare. Cannon saw use in the Tudor navy; the French "culverin" was adapted for naval use by the English in the late 16th century, had a significant advantage over the ballista, used in naval warfare. This cannon was of long barrel and light construction, fired solid round shot projectiles at long ranges along a flat trajectory. One of the first ships to be able to fire a full cannon broadside was the English carrack the Mary Rose, built in Portsmouth from 1510–1512, equipped with 78 guns.
It was one of the earliest purpose-built warships to serve in the English Navy, her crew consisted of 200 sailors, 185 soldiers, 30 gunners. With the Age of Discovery, rivalry developed between European colonies and the importance of cannon in naval warfare increased. Many merchant vessels were armed with cannon and the aggressive activities of English privateers, who engaged the galleons of the Spanish treasure fleets, helped provoke the first Anglo-Spanish War, though it was not one of the main factors. A fleet review on Elizabeth I's accession in 1559 showed the navy to consist of 39 ships and in 1588, Philip II of Spain launched the Spanish Armada against England. In a running battle lasting over a week, the Armada was defeated by the English navy. A description of the Gunner's art is given during the English Civil War period by John Roberts, covering the modes of calculation and the ordnance pieces themselves, in his work The Compleat Cannoniere, printed London 1652 by W. Wilson and sold by George Hurlock.
The lower tier of English ships of the line at this time were equipped with demi-cannon — a naval gun which fired a 32-pound solid shot. A full cannon fired a 42-pound shot, but these were discontinued by the 18th century as they were seen as too unwieldy. With the establishment of the Thirteen Colonies, cannon saw use in English armies in the North American mainland, first against the rival colony of New France. However, although the French were outnumbered, their fortifications and artillery were superior to English cannon; when 34 ships from the English colony of Massachusetts bombarded Quebec in 1690, they were outmatched by the French batteries, which badly damaged the ships' hulls and struck off the colours of the English flagship. The English brass field guns landed on the shore were ineffective against the militiamen in the woods, a spontaneous retreat left five cannon abandoned on the shore. French victory showed that to take Quebec, the cannon of "Old England would have to be brought in".
Before the 18th century, artillery "traynes" were raised by Royal Warrant for specific campaigns and disbanded again when they were over. On 26 May 1716, however, by Royal Warrant of George
Naval artillery in the Age of Sail
Naval artillery in the Age of Sail encompasses the period of 1571–1862: when large, sail-powered wooden naval warships dominated the high seas, mounting a bewildering variety of different types and sizes of cannon as their main armament. By modern standards, these cannon were inefficient, difficult to load, short ranged; these characteristics, along with the handling and seamanship of the ships that mounted them, defined the environment in which the naval tactics in the Age of Sail developed. Firing a naval cannon required a great amount of labour and manpower; the propellant was gunpowder, whose bulk had to be kept in the magazine, a special storage area below deck for safety. Powder boys 10–14 years old, were enlisted to run powder from the magazine up to the gun decks of a vessel as required. A typical firing procedure follows. A wet swab was used to mop out the interior of the barrel, extinguishing any embers from a previous firing which might set off the next charge of gunpowder prematurely.
Gunpowder was placed in the barrel, either loose or in a cloth or parchment cartridge pierced by a metal'pricker' through the touch hole, followed by a cloth wad rammed home with a rammer. Next the shot was rammed in, followed by another wad to prevent the cannonball from rolling out of the barrel if the muzzle was depressed; the gun in its carriage was then'run out'. This took the majority of the gun crew manpower, as the weight of a large cannon in its carriage could total over two tons, the ship would be rolling; the touch hole in the rear of the cannon was primed with finer gunpowder or from a quill pre-filled with priming powder ignited. The earlier method of firing a cannon was to apply a linstock—a wooden staff holding a length of smoldering match at the end—to the touch-hole of the gun; this was dangerous and made accurate shooting difficult from a moving ship, as the gun had to be fired from the side to avoid its recoil, there was a noticeable delay between the application of the linstock and the gun firing.
In 1745, the British began using gunlocks. The gunlock, by contrast, was lanyard; the gun-captain could stand behind the gun, safely beyond its range of recoil, sight along the barrel, firing when the roll of the ship lined the gun up with the enemy, so reduce the chance of the shot hitting the sea or flying high over the enemy's deck. Despite their advantages, gunlocks spread as they could not be retrofitted to older guns; the British adopted them faster than the French, who had still not adopted them by the time of the Battle of Trafalgar, placing them at a disadvantage, as the new technology was in general use by the Royal Navy at this time. After the introduction of gunlocks, linstocks were only as a backup means of firing; the linstock slow match or the spark from the flintlock ignited the priming powder, which in turn set off the main charge, which propelled the shot out of the barrel. When the gun discharged, the recoil sent it backwards until it was stopped by the breech rope, a sturdy rope made fast to ring bolts let into the bulwarks, with a turn taken about the gun's cascabel.
A typical broadside of a Royal Navy ship of the late 18th century could be fired 2–3 times in 5 minutes, depending on the training of the crew, a well trained one being essential to the simple yet detailed process of preparing to fire. The British Admiralty did not see fit to provide additional powder to captains to train their crews only allowing 1⁄3 of the powder loaded onto the ship to be fired in the first six months of a typical voyage, barring hostile action. Instead of live fire practice, most captains exercised their crews by "running" the guns in and out, performing all the steps associated with firing but without the actual discharge; some wealthy captains, those who had made money capturing prizes or who came from wealthy families, were known to purchase powder with their own funds to enable their crews to fire real discharges at real targets. A complete and accurate listing of the types of naval guns requires analysis both by nation and by time period; the types used by different nations at the same time were different if they were labelled similarly.
The types used by a given nation would shift over time, as technology and current weapon fashions changed. Some types include: Demi-cannon Culverin Demi-culverin Carronade Paixhans gunOne descriptive characteristic, used was to define guns by their pound rating — theoretically, the weight of a single solid iron shot fired by that bore of cannon. Common sizes were 42-pounders, 36-pounders, 32-pounders, 24-pounders, 18-pounders, 12-pounders, 9-pounders, 8-pounders, 6-pounders, various smaller calibres. French ships used standardized guns of 36-pound, 24-pound, 18-pound, 12-pound, 8-pound calibers, augmented by carronades and smaller pieces. In general, larger ships carrying more guns carried larger ones as well; the muzzle-loading design and weight of the iron placed design constraints on the length and size of naval guns. Muzzle-loading required the cannon to be positioned within the hull of the ship for loading; the hull width, guns lining both sides, hatchways in the centre of the deck limited the room available.
Weight is always a great concern in ship design as it affects speed and buoyancy. The desire for longer guns for greater range and accurac
Rifled breech loader
A rifled breech loader is an artillery piece which, unlike the smoothbore cannon and rifled muzzle loader which preceded it, has rifling in the barrel and is loaded from the breech at the rear of the gun. The spin imparted by the gun's rifling gives projectiles increased range. Loading from the rear of the gun leaves the crew less exposed to enemy fire, allows smaller gun emplacements or turrets, allows a faster rate of fire; the major problem to be solved with breechloading artillery was obturation: the sealing of the breech after firing to ensure that none of the gases generated by the burning of the propellant escaped rearwards through the breech. This was both a safety issue and one of gun performance – all the propellant gas was needed to accelerate the projectile along the barrel; the second problem was speed of operation – how to close the breech before firing and open it after firing as as possible consistent with safety. Two solutions were developed more or less in parallel, the "screw breech" block and "sliding wedge" or "sliding block".
At the time of development of the first modern breechloaders in the mid-19th century, gunpowder propellant charges for artillery were loaded in cloth bags, which combusted on firing. Hence, unlike with a metal rifle cartridge, the breech mechanism itself somehow needed to provide obturation; the early "screw" mechanisms for sealing the breech consisted of threaded blocks which were screwed into the breech after loading, but the threads themselves were insufficient to provide a gas-tight seal. This was further complicated by the need to screw and unscrew the breech as as possible. Hence if the block circumference was divided into two sets of threads and gaps, the block only needed to be rotated ¼ turn to lock it instead of several turns; the tradeoff was that only ½ the block's circumference was threaded, reducing the security accordingly. The other possibility of sealing the breech was to enclose the propellant charge in a metal cartridge case which expanded on firing and hence sealed the breech, leaving the breech-block needing to lock the cartridge case in place.
This was more accomplished by sliding the block in behind the cartridge case through a vertical or horizontal slot cut through the rear of the breech: the "sliding wedge" or "sliding block" breech. The first cannons of the Middle Ages were breech loaded, with gunpowder and shot contained in pots dropped at the back of the barrel, but the poor seals made them dangerous, they wore and could not be scaled to larger weapons; until the 19th century, only muzzle-loaders were used. In 1837 Martin von Wahrendorff patented a design for a breech-loader with a cylindrical breech plug secured by a horizontal wedge. Independently, Giovanni Cavalli first proposed a breech-loader gun in 1832 to the Sardinian Army, first tested such a gun in 1845. Advances in metallurgy in the industrial era allowed for the construction of rifled breech-loading guns that could fire at a much greater muzzle velocity. After the British artillery was shown up in the Crimean War as having changed since the Napoleonic Wars the industrialist William Armstrong was awarded a contract by the government to design a new piece of artillery.
Production started in 1855 at the Royal Arsenal at Woolwich. His "Armstrong screw" breech involved loading the shell and gunpowder propellant charge in a cloth bag through the hollow breech screw, lowering a heavy block into a slot behind the powder chamber and screwing the breech screw against the block to lock it in place. A degree of obturation was achieved via a cup on the face of the block being forced into a recessed ring on the chamber face; the system was in effect a vertical sliding block such as used by Krupp in both horizontal and vertical form, with the crucial difference that Armstrong failed to make the progression to loading the powder charge in a metal cartridge, with the result that complete obturation was impossible. Whatever obturation, achieved relied on manual labour rather than the power of the gun's firing, was hence both uncertain, based on an unsound principle and unsuited to large guns. Armstrong screw-breech guns were adopted by the British Army and Royal Navy, but concerns about limited armour penetration of the shells due to limited maximum velocity, safety concerns with the breech blocks blowing out of guns, higher skill levels demanded of gunners led the British Government to revert to rifled muzzle-loaders from 1865 to 1880, when Britain deployed reliable screw breech mechanisms.
The Imperial Japanese Army used Armstrong cannon during the Boshin War to devastate the Aizu castle town and force its inhabitants to surrender and British Armstrong light field guns proved deadly against Chinese forces in the Second Opium War. However, the British Army and Navy preferred to revert to muzzle-loaders until larger high-powered breech-loaders with secure obturation systems that were simple to operate were developed. In the meantime the French persevered with trying to develop breechloaders which combined faster loading than muzzle-loaders, high power and solved the problem of obturation; the Lahitolle 95 mm cannon of 1875 with an interrupted screw breech met the first three requirements to a great extent and solved the obturation problem. The de Bange system introduced in 1877 solved the obturation problem with an asbestos pad imp
A carronade is a short, cast iron cannon, used by the Royal Navy and first produced by the Carron Company, an ironworks in Falkirk, Scotland. It was used from the 1770s to the 1850s, its main function was to serve as a short-range, anti-ship and anti-crew weapon. Carronades were found to be successful, but they disappeared as naval artillery advanced, with the introduction of rifling and consequent change in the shape of the projectile, exploding shells replacing solid shot, naval engagements being fought at longer ranges; the carronade was designed as a short-range naval weapon with a low muzzle velocity for merchant ships, but it found a niche role on warships. It was produced by the Carron ironworks and was at first sold as a system with the gun and shot all together; the standard package of shot per gun was 25 roundshot, 15 barshot, 15 double-headed shot, 10 "single" grapeshot, 10 "single" canister shot. "Single" meant that the shot weighed the same as the roundshot, while some other canister and grapeshot were included which weighed one and a half times the roundshot.
Its invention is variously ascribed to Lieutenant General Robert Melville in 1759, or to Charles Gascoigne, manager of the Carron Company from 1769 to 1779. In its early years, the weapon was sometimes called a "mellvinade" or a "gasconade"; the carronade can be seen as the culmination of a development of naval guns reducing the barrel length and gunpowder charge. The Carron Company was selling a "new light-constructed" gun, two-thirds of the weight of the standard naval gun and charged with one sixth of the weight of ball in powder before it introduced the carronade, which further halved the gunpowder charge; the advantages for merchant ships are described in an advertising pamphlet of 1779. Production of both shot and gun by the same firm allowed a reduction in the windage, the gap between the bore of the gun and the diameter of the ball; the smaller gunpowder charge reduced the barrel heating in action, reduced the recoil. The mounting, attached to the side of the ship on a pivot, took the recoil on a slider, without altering the alignment of the gun.
The pamphlet advocated the use of woollen cartridges, which eliminated the need for wadding and worming, although they were more expensive. Simplifying gunnery for comparatively untrained merchant seamen in both aiming and reloading was part of the rationale for the gun; the replacement of trunnions by a bolt underneath, to connect the gun to the mounting, reduced the width of the carriage enhancing the wide angle of fire. A merchant ship would always be running away from an enemy, so a wide angle of fire was much more important than on a warship. A carronade weighed a quarter as much and used a quarter to a third of the gunpowder charge as a long gun firing the same cannonball; the reduced charge allowed carronades to have a shorter length and much lighter weight than long guns. Increasing the size of the bore and ball reduces the required length of barrel; the force acting on the ball is proportional to the square of the diameter, while the mass of the ball rises by the cube, so acceleration is slower.
Long guns were much heavier than carronades because they were over-specified to be capable of being double-shotted, whereas it was dangerous to do this in a carronade. A ship could carry more carronades, or carronades of a larger caliber, than long guns, carronades could be mounted on the upper decks, where heavy long guns could cause the ship to be top-heavy and unstable. Carronades required a smaller gun crew, important for merchant ships, they were faster to reload. Carronades became popular on British merchant ships during the American Revolutionary War. A lightweight gun that needed only a small gun crew and was devastating at short range was well suited to defending merchant ships against French and American privateers; the French came in possession of their first carronades in December 1779 with the capture of the brig Finkastre by the frigate Précieuse, but the weapon was judged ineffective and was not adopted by them at the time. However, in the Action of 4 September 1782, the impact of a single carronade broadside fired at close range by the frigate HMS Rainbow under Henry Trollope caused a wounded French captain to capitulate and surrender the Hébé after a short fight.
The Royal Navy was reluctant to adopt the guns due to mistrust of the Carron Company, which had developed a reputation for incompetence and commercial sharp dealing. Carronades were not counted in numbering the guns of a ship. Lord Sandwich started mounting them in place of the light guns on the forecastle and quarterdeck of ships, they soon proved their effectiveness in battle. French gun foundries were unable to produce equivalents for twenty years, so carronades gave British warships a significant tactical advantage during the latter part of the 18th century—though French ships mounted another type of weapon in the same role, the obusier de vaisseau. HMS Victory used the two 68-pounder carronades which she carried on her forecastle to great effect at the Battle of Trafalgar, clearing the gun deck of the Bucentaure by firing a round shot and a keg of 500 musket balls through the Bucentaure's stern windows; the carronade was very successful and adopted, a few experimental ships were fitted with a carronade-only armament, such as HMS Glatton and HMS Rainbow.
Glatton, a fourth-rate ship with 56 guns, had a more destructive broadside than HMS Victory, a first-rate ship with 100 guns. Glatton and Rainbow were both successful in battle, though the carronade's lack of range was an arguable tactical disadvantage of this arrangement ag
Lantaka or rentaka were a type of bronze swivel gun mounted on merchant vessels and warships in maritime South East Asia. It was equipped by native seafaring vessels from Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia; the lantaka was cited by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts of the Philippines as one of the intangible cultural heritage of the country under the traditional craftsmanship category that the government may nominate in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists. The documentation of the craft was aided by ICHCAP of UNESCO. Although most lantaka weighed under two hundred pounds, many only a few pounds, the largest ones exceeded a thousand pounds with some weighing over a ton. Many of these guns were known as swivel guns; the smaller ones could be mounted anywhere including in the rigging. Medium-sized cannon were used in reinforced sockets on the vessel's rails and were sometimes referred to as rail guns; the heaviest swivel guns were mounted on modified gun carriages to make them more portable.
The earliest cannon with beautiful ornaments from this region are from foundries in Melaka and Pahang, with models from foundries in the Netherlands and Portugal, next from their respective settlements, from Brunei and other local craftsmen. However, there were double-barreled variants that were used extensively in the Philippines. In Malaysia, these double-barreled variants are called Meriam Lela and appears to be longer than a typical lantaka; the local population was unimpressed with the might and power of the armed trading vessels from the VOC Dutch East India Company and Portugal. De Barros mentions. Among those, 2,000 were made from the rest from iron. All the artillery is of such excellent workmanship that it could not be excelled in Portugal. - Commentarios do grande Afonso de Albuquerque, Lisbon 1576. The Dutch and Portuguese learned that they could trade cannon not only for spices and porcelain, but for safe passage through pirate-infested waters. Local foundries continued to produce guns, using local patterns and designs from other local brass and bronze objects.
Stylized crocodiles, dolphins and dragons were common motifs. If a native vessel was unarmed, it was regarded by the local populace as improperly equipped and poorly decorated. Whether farmers, fishermen or headhunters, the villagers who lived in the longhouses along Borneo's rivers lived in fear of being taken by pirates who used both vessel-mounted and hand-held cannons. Villages and tribesmen that were armed with mounted or handheld cannon had a distinct advantage over those who could only rely on bows and arrows, spears and krises. Land transportation in 17th and 18th century Java and Borneo was difficult and cannons were fired for all types of signaling. Whether they were fired in celebration of a birth or wedding, or to warn another hilltop fortress or riverbank fishing village of impending attack, cannons were used to transmit messages telling of urgent or special events; such events ranged from yellow fever and cholera epidemics to the start or finish of religious holidays such as Ramadan.
Distinguished visitors were ushered into longhouses with great ceremony, accompanied by the firing of the longhouse's cannon, much like today's twenty-one gun salute. These cannon were a display of the status and wealth of the extended family that controlled the longhouse. All worked copper and bronze had value and were used as trade items in early Borneo. Cannon were part of the bride price demanded by the family of an exceptionally desirable bride or the dowry paid to the groom. Many of the small cannon called personal cannon or hand cannon, had been received as honors and were kept and passed down in families, but in hard times they served as a form of currency that could keep the family fed; as a recognized form of currency, cannon could be traded for rice, canoes, weapons, debts of honor, settlement of penalties for crimes ranging from the accidental death of a fellow villager to headhunting against another tribe. Large cannon had the extra value of being used in warfare; the larger and/or more elaborate the cannon, the greater the trade value, thus the greater the status of the owner.
Many of the finest cannon were given out by the Sultans of Brunei as part of ceremonies of the many princes and princesses of the extended Royal family. Cannon were presented to guests along with awards and titles, were meant to guarantee the recipients allegiance to the Sultan. Mortars and signal guns of all sizes were fired with colorful pyrotechnics on these occasions. Panday Piray of Pampanga, Philippines was known for forging heavy bronze lantaka to be mounted on Lakan's ships called'caracoas' doing battle against the Spanish invaders and cannons were commissioned by Rajah Sulayman for the fortification of Maynila. In the 1840s, England began suppressing headhunting and piracy and Rajah James Brooke distributed numerous Brunei-cast hand cannon to guarantee the cooperation and allegiance of the local chiefs. Lantaka were used by Moro soldiers in the Moro Rebellion against U. S. troops in the Philippines. They were used by the Filipinos during the Philippine Revolution, this time copied from European models and cast from church bells.
One cannon founder was a Chinese Filipino named Jose Ignacio Pa
The bombard is a cannon or mortar used throughout the Middle Ages and the early modern period. Most bombards were used gunpowder to launch the projectiles. There are many examples of bombards, including Mons Meg, the Dardanelles Gun, the handheld bombard. Larger bombards are sometimes included in the family of superguns; the weapon provided the name to the Royal Artillery rank of the word bombardment. The oldest representation of a bombard can be found in the Dazu Rock Carvings. In 1985, the Canadian historian Robin Yates was visiting Buddhist cave temples when he saw a sculpture on the wall depicting a demon firing a hand-held bombard; the sculpture was dated to the early 12th century. The'Vaso' shown by Walter de Milamete is dated to 1327 and shows a mailed knight firing a brass fire pot; however the armour shown appears anachronistic for 1327 and the image may be a copy of a lost 12th century image. England began using cannons in the early 14th century. Field artillery was deployed by King Edward III at the Battle of Crecy in 1346 but equipment which may have been an artillery piece was listed as captured on a French ship by the English, at Sluys, as early as 1340.
Inverted'keyhole' gun loops at Bodiam Castle, Cooling Castle and Westgate Canterbury have all been identified as for firing heavy handguns. These defences are dated 1380-1385. Used as defensive weapons primitive bombards began to be used as siege weapons in the 14th century. Henry IV, Henry V, James II won battles with the use of bombards. Henry V captured Harfleur with bombards in 1415. King Henry's army came under artillery fire at the Battle of Agincourt. James II destroyed many castles with his one and a half ton cannon named "The Lion"; the French re-conquest of their kingdom from English control saw the use of considerable French artillery in the siege role. The French in this period preferred to avoid attacking English longbowmen in open battle and relied on siege and re-conquest by siege tactics; however the last battle of the Hundred Years' War saw English commander John Talbot lead an Anglo-Gascon army against dug-in French troops equipped with 300 pieces of artillery at the Battle of Castillion in 1453.
The French camp had been laid out by ordnance officer Jean Bureau to maximise the French artillery arm. The Anglo-Gascons were shot to pieces and Talbot was killed. Most bombards started with the construction of a wooden core surrounded by iron bars. Iron hoops were driven over these bars in order to surround and cover them; the whole structure was welded with a hammer while it was still hot at about 1300 °C. The rings subsequently cooled and formed over the bars to secure them; the last step was to attach a one-piece cast. The complicated procedure required a skilled forge who could work and with a hammer. A notable example of a bombard is the large Mons Meg weapon, built around 1449 and used by King James II of Scotland, it was powerful and used for bringing down castle walls. The origins of the Mons Meg are not known but according to Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, it was his idea, it had similar construction to a typical bombard. However, the Mons Meg was used because of several factors. First of all, it was hard to transfer because it could not be disassembled and additional frames were needed to keep it steady during battle.
These frames were not reliable and very dangerous, claiming two deaths in the defense of Edinburgh when it was being set. Mons Meg was one of the largest bombards in its time, it is now housed on public display at Edinburgh Castle. A bombard with a bore of 12 inches was found when the moat of Bodiam Castle, was drained. A muzzle-loader of hoop-and-stave construction, it is believed to be the oldest piece found in England and may be late 14th or early 15th century, it was dumped in the moat following an abortive siege at the castle during the Wars of the Roses. The original is now at the Royal Artillery Museum at Woolwich, but a copy has been on show at the castle for many years; the Star Gun Company has built a Bodiam Bombard replica while local newspapers report a replica was being fired at the castle for visitors during 2012. Other known 15th-century superguns include the wrought-iron Pumhart von Steyr and Dulle Griet as well as the cast-bronze Faule Mette, Faule Grete, Grose Bochse; the Tsar Cannon is a late 16th-century show-piece.
The Dardanelles Gun, built in the Ottoman Empire in 1464 by Munir Ali, with a weight of 18.6 t and a length of 518 cm, was capable of firing stone balls of up to 63 cm diameter. Bombards were superseded by weapons using smaller calibre iron projectiles fired from longer barrels with more powerful gunpowder. List of the largest cannons by caliber This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Bombard". Encyclopædia Britannica. Cambridge University Press.1. Sands, Kathleen. "Though One Of The Best-Documented Of Medieval Bombards, Mons Meg Was The Subject Of Exaggeration And Legend." Military History 16.3: 22. 2. Lu Gwei-Djen, Joseph Needham and Phan Chi-Hsing. Technology and Culture, Vol. 29, No. 3, pp. 594–605 3. W. H. Finlayson; the Scottish Historical Review, Vol. 27, No. 104, Part 2, pp. 124–126 4. Cvikel and Haim Goren. "Where Are Bonaparte's Siege Cannon? An Episode In The Egypti