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Friday, June 03, 2005

Trebuchet update

My son Zed graduates from high school today. Soon we will be cleaning out his bedroom, because he says there are things in there he's had so long he can't stand to look at them any more. But some are precious to me, like the seige engine he built out of corrugated cardboard and wood for "medieval day" long ago...

I posted excerpts from a Wall Street Journal article on a trebuchet-building hobbyist here, remember?
"It's the work of Hew Kennedy's medieval siege engine, a four story tall, 30 ton behemoth that's the talk of bucolic Shropshire, 140 miles northwest of London. In ancient times, such war machines were dreaded instruments of destruction, flinging huge missiles, including plague-ridden horses, over the walls of besieged castles. Only one full-sized one exists today, designed and built by Mr. Kennedy, a wealthy landowner, inventor, military historian and - need it be said? - full-blown eccentric."
See that post for some truly great pictures.

Here is a site where you can find plans for building your own trebuchets, in various sizes.

And here is one which, though advertised as the biggest in the world, will be smaller than Kennedy's. However, it is built by an Expert. (Extracted from via Cronaca.)

Work Starts on Giant Medieval Siege Catapult

The world's biggest medieval siege machine is being built ready for
use at a castle later this year.

The 22-tonne trebuchet, a colossal wooden catapult, will be installed
at Warwick Castle where it will be fired daily over the summer.

The machine – which would have been used to aim missiles at defensive
walls and throw huge projectiles over fortifications – stands 18
metres (59ft) high and is capable of firing up to 150kg (330lb) of
ammunition at a time.

It was the principal siege weapon of attack from the 13th to the 15th
century when cannon started to take over.

The replica will sit beside the River Avon which runs below the castle
and will send missiles hurtling 25 metres (82ft) into the air and up
to 300 metres (328 yards) along.

The machine, which will take a team of eight men half-an-hour to load,
has been designed by medieval weapons expert Dr Peter Vemming.

The machine is being built by master craftsmen at a Wiltshire workshop
from 28 tonnes of British oak and will be transported in 300 pieces
before being reassembled on site.

The trebuchet – which would have been dismantled regularly and
transported in lengthy convoys of carts to the next siege in medieval
times – is due to arrive at the castle in June and be ready for use in

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At 2:38 AM, Blogger EdWonk said...

I always enjoyed a quirky television program called Northern Exposure. (Even got myself photographed in front of the "Roslyn's Cafe" sign.)

On several shows, a huge trebuchet made an appearance.

They flung televisions, old pianos Etc.

Amazing how far an old piano could fly...


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