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posted 10-29-2006 04:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for abbeyb21     Edit/Delete Message
my names Abbey, I'm 11 and in Year 7. I'm can't find something that relates to my Castles Project. I have to do a detailed history of the castle, and have the roots already - we did that in class - but I dont know, or can find, when the gunpowder blowing up castles idea arrived in britain?


posted 10-29-2006 11:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Peter   Click Here to Email Peter     Edit/Delete Message
Good question Abbey.
And, to be honest I don't know without looking.
The first U.K. castle to be attacked with cannon ? Which is what we would be talking about.
Maybe someone like Andrew would have an idea?

Aiken Drum
Senior Member
posted 10-29-2006 11:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Aiken Drum     Edit/Delete Message
I might be wrong, but gunpowder was first used in the UK in about 1260 in fireworks, but it was the early 15th c before cannon were developed to the degree that they could be considered as siege weapons, and I think the first use in such conditions was by James 2nd of Scotland in his 1460 siege of Roxburgh, which proved fatal for him as one of his huge cannon known as 'The Lion' exploded and killed him.
I've found an American reference which states that 'the trebuchet was the ultimate siege weapon...until the invention of cannon around 1500', which is obviously wrong. Certainly when James 2nd beseiged Roxburgh to oust the English garrison, siege cannon were considered a new technology.
Gunpowder had been used earlier than that, and Edward 3rd of England is known to have brought some small cannon in his invasion of 1327 and had used them in the siege of Calais in 1346, but in use against castles or cities gunpowder was probably limited in use to various forms of incendiary , grenade or anti-personnel weapon until the early 15thc when cannon technology developed, and huge siege cannon known as Bombards appeared.
Probably the most famous of these is Mons Meg, one of a pair gifted to James 2nd in 1457 by his wifes uncle, Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy. You can see Meg at Edinburgh castle.
Gunpowder of course had other uses, and replaced the 'fired prop' method of undermining castle walls during siege, where it could have been used as an explosive rather than to fire a cannon, however I don't know when or where it was first used in such a manner in the UK.
http://www.leithhistory.co.uk/2004/09/23/cannons-and-gunpowder/ http://www.geo.ed.ac.uk/scotgaz/towns/townhistory242.html

[This message has been edited by Aiken Drum (edited 10-30-2006).]

posted 10-30-2006 09:47 AM           Edit/Delete Message
To the best of my knowledge, I believe that the first British castle to be attacked and badly damaged by cannon fire was Bamburgh castle in Northumberland.
This occurred in 1464 during the Wars of the Roses.

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