Six impressive cannon go on display at Britain’s oldest museum - Thursday, 22 April 2010

Six newly-restored cannon are due to be unveiled at the Royal Armouries (RA) Museum, Leeds, on Thursday 22 April – creating a “wow factor” as visitors arrive at Clarence Dock.

The cannon – all newly restored and in excellent condition – will have completed the long journey north from the RA’s south-coast museum at Fort Nelson in Hampshire, which houses the national collection of big guns and artillery.
The RA has used a specialist contractor to transport the six historic cannon, which will be lowered into place under the watchful eye of the museum’s Keeper of Artillery, Nick Hall.

Nick said, “These cannon have been restored and are in fabulous condition. They will provide an eye-catching showpiece in Leeds and will be sited in a variety of locations, including sites near The Tiltyard and Craft Court, plus the mini-roundabout outside the museum. We have moved them north as part of the initiative to re-order the displays at Fort Nelson, which is currently being redeveloped, and these guns will be an impressive addition at Leeds.”

The newly-installed cannon are as follows:

English 10-inch smooth bore, muzzle loading (SBML) Howitzer – Dated 1791, this cannon was cast by the King Brothers at the Royal Brass Foundry in Woolwich. Decoration includes the monogram of King George III and the arms of Charles, Third Duke of Richmond. Estimated weight – 2.25 tons.

Pair of British, bronze nine-pounder SBML guns – on cast-iron garrison carriages. Dated 1811, they were manufactured by the King Brothers at the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich and bear George III’s monogram and the arms of Henry, First Earl of Mulgrave.

Two British cast-iron, 32-pounder SBML Blomefield guns – on cast-iron gun carriages. The first was dated 1808 and was manufactured at the Carron Iron Works in Falkirk, Scotland. The second dates to 1810 and was made in Rotherham. These were the kind of heavy guns that armed the Royal Navy in Nelson’s time, and on this type of carriage, were used to defend fortifications.

Russian cast iron eight-inch Licorne, circa 1800 – weighs about three tons and the tapered breech is characteristic of a design devised by Field Marshal Count Shuvalov, although the idea goes back to the 16th Century.


You are invited to send a photographer to capture the unloading of the cannon, and the operation to lower them into place, from 8am on Thursday, April 22, at the Royal Armouries Museum at Clarence Dock, Leeds. For media inquiries, please contact Joss Loader on 07838 379599.

Media contact

Joss Loader
Tel: 07838 379599

Notes to editors

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