Gun on Replica Carriage

Gun on Replica Carriage

...a long range weapon which would have functioned to ward off an oncoming enemy vessel...

This was the first bronze gun, of a type known as a demi culverin, to be found on the wreck of the Mary Rose in recent times, in 1979. It is also the most elaborately decorated.

The gun was positioned on the Castle deck at the widest part of the ship pointing forwards. This was a long range weapon which would have functioned to ward off an oncoming enemy vessel, firing forward at a slight angle to the centre line of the ship.

The gun shown here is mounted on a replica of the original carriage. The original carriage was recovered with the gun and the dimensions have been exactly replicated.

The gun was made by John and Robert Owen in 1537 in London.

Quick Facts

  • Artefact number #79A1232
  • Date made 1537
  • Made by John and Robert Owen
  • Made at Belle House, Houndsditch, East End of London
  • Date found 1979
  • Found on The Mary Rose
  • Gun bore size 11cm (4.4ins)
  • Dimensions Length 3.3m, 10ft 9ins, Weight 1500lbs


  • This gun was loaded with a solid cast iron shot when it was recovered.
  • The gun has the following inscription 'ROBERT AND JOHN OWYN BRETHERYN BORNE IN THE CYTE OF LONDON THE SONNES OF AN INGLISH MADE THYS BASTARD ANNO DNI 1537'. The term 'bastard' simply refers tot he fact that the weapon was non-standard and could not be either a culverin or a cannon.
  • There were seven broadside guns found on the starboard side of the main deck of the Mary Rose, presumably matched by a similar number on the missing port side. Other heavy guns were found on the upper and castle decks.
  • The guns discovered on the Mary Rose were a mixture of muzzle-loading cast bronze guns and breech-loading wrought iron guns. The bronze guns rested on elm carriages with four small solid wheels. These enabled them to be run back for cleaning and loading. The iron shot they fired were capable of damaging the hull, upper works and rigging of opposing vessels as well as killing the crew.
  • Two bronze guns were mounted on the aftercastle, firing forward past the forecastle. N.A.M. Roger has suggested that these were added as a result of the clash with the French galleys in 1513, to help cover one of the weakest points in a sailing warship.

Did you know?

The carriages for all the bronze guns on the Mary Rose were either manufactured or adapted to fit a particular gun and to take into account it's position in the ship. There isn't much standardisation in guns, carriages or gun furniture.

Give us your comments and stories!

Have a story about "Gun on Replica Carriage", or simply want to tell us what you think?
Add your thoughts below. You can sign in with Google, Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo! to get your story posted straight away - or just post a comment to be published later.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Where is this item?

Why not make a day of it?

Let us help you plan a route and make a visit