Naval Carriages

There are few existing gun carriages for this period that hail from naval vessels, but we are fortunate in that there is one known carriage that dates to the period and has been left virtually undisturbed in Windsor Castle since that time. It is thought to date to the 17th century and is of fairly simple construction. That this is a naval carriage is supported by the fact that documents exist detailing links between naval carriages and their use in fortifications. The carriage in this case consists of two cheeks and a flat bed resting on an axletree at the front and two chocks at the rear of the carriage. Two large iron bolts pass perpendicularly through the two cheeks and the cheeks are fixed directly to the flat bed. There are two large rings attached to the side of the bed and two smaller ones, probably for tackles, that fit into the side of the cheeks. These are probably for running the gun up to the gun port. Later manuals such as John Seller's The Sea Gunner show this kind of carriage in use in the 1690s but other similar carriages exist in Europe from as early as the 1590s. This carriage therefore may well be the standard naval pattern of the age.

1690s Carriages

An extremely interesting image from the latter part of the 17th century showing in the foreground the process for making the model of a gun. On the left is the core and in the centre of the three the model is made. On the right-hand side we see a mould and then the mould reinforced by iron bars. From Manneson Mallet's Les Travaux de Mars.

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