Defiance Building

#41
Gosh...it's one of those things that you just walk by without realising it's even there. The building was opened in 1978 by James Callaghan, the then Prime Minister. The brick plinth on which the cannon sits appears commensurate with the rest of the building so I would happily conclude that the cannon was placed intentionally with the building as part of the whole arrangement, rather than as something that was found later and considered to 'look good out the front'. Perhaps the might be some photos of the opening ceremony of the building...
There will be. I'll request the Devonport News (MoD) for that year when I am at the British Library next week.
 
#43
The gun is numbered 99 and so might be traceable to a specific ship. It pre-dates the Armitage style - the breech end design being a key area of difference.
 
#45
In the realms of clutching at straws, there be an old cannon at the top of Mountbatten fort, of about the same age 1700's, may be see if you can get a butchers at that one, doesn't look painted?
WP_20170322_18_14_45_Pro.jpg
 
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#47
The manufacturer's initials should be on that left hand lug. It looks like a 32 pdr, but the closed breech end (the name for this escapes me at present) is different and might be an Armitage type. The end where the pommel is (the blunt end) has a ring/fixed device that can take a rope, presumably as part of the re-aligning procedure after firing. There are also rings on the one (at the closed breech end) in the picture, there are no rings on the one here. The one here pre-dates the one at Mountbatten, but is certainly similar.

We know who made it, and what type it is. We are now seeing if it can be pin-pointed to a specific vessel by using it's unique number (on the right hand lug that meets the carriage/trunnion).
 
#48
Actually those guns pictured on your link are possibly older than the one here as they are referred to as 17th century. There's books on this sort of stuff and it can get quite geeky.
 
#50
On an old naval cannon, the Gun crew had numbers (who’d of thought that) No2 & No6 were on the realigning ropes, Hence the old fashioned Naval Saying of 2-6 heave.
 
#51
Gosh...it's one of those things that you just walk by without realising it's even there. The building was opened in 1978 by James Callaghan, the then Prime Minister. The brick plinth on which the cannon sits appears commensurate with the rest of the building so I would happily conclude that the cannon was placed intentionally with the building as part of the whole arrangement, rather than as something that was found later and considered to 'look good out the front'. Perhaps the might be some photos of the opening ceremony of the building...
Is the cannon close enough to the building to have been captured by photographers in their pictures when taking photos of the opening ceremony? I'm hoping that this is the case, as it will then be visible in the photos taken and included in the issues of the Devonport News I am going to order up at the British Library.

Just to add that it looks as if the PM may have declared the building open from HMS Superb, so my question might be irrelevant ........

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=SukdHyn8lXoC&pg=PT372&lpg=PT372&dq="callaghan"+"hms+defiance"&source=bl&ots=Rmx9SrPXjj&sig=rRkHhDp31Ei7PIs0HTHNC66inGE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj-g6Ok8rnZAhVDY1AKHawpAb4Q6AEIKTAB#v=onepage&q="callaghan" "hms defiance"&f=false
 
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#56
Happy daze - memories from a good few years back!

Well, seems to be well covered by Google! Umm, this may be a bit simplistic, but can somebody not just take a sneaky piccy of the cannon as they walk past? Or even from just inside the door if you don't want to draw attention to yourself.
 
#57
Devonport heritage team are seeing what info they can dig out from their archives. The manufacturer etc is all known now. I have contacted the RN trophy centre in Pompey to see if there is a paper trail there.
 
#58
An update from then heritage team:

"The cannon was cast by Samuel Walker and Co of Rotherham, this is shown on the left trunnion. On the right trunnion is the number 99, which is the serial number.

This cannon is of the Blomefield pattern, and would have been cast between 1787 and 1820 during the reign of George III, I am fairly sure it is his cypher, that can just be made out on the top of the gun barrel. Although it may also be George IV which would add another ten years to the timeline.

After 1794 the Blomefield pattern gun of various calibres, was the standard within the navy.

The Barrel is just over six feet in length and would have fired a 6" round shot weighing 32 lbs.

It is impossible to know if this gun came from HMS Defiance, However she did carry 36, 32 lb 54cwt guns on her main Deck, and 20, 32 lb 45cwt guns on her upper deck, as I cannot see any weight markings on the barrel, you would have to weigh it to confirm which type it is.

I have been told that some years ago there were hundreds of cannons piled up in South yard? Many can still be seen buried on dock sides as mooring bollards, and on the corner of buildings around the yard, to protect them from traffic."


This is probably as far as we are going to get barring the discovery of documentation pertaining to the acquisition and arrival of the actual cannon outside Defiance building. It's quite a bit of info to be fair and makes for some speculation as to which ship it came from.
 
#59
It is impossible to know if this gun came from HMS Defiance, However she did carry 36, 32 lb 54cwt guns on her main Deck, and 20, 32 lb 45cwt guns on her upper deck, as I cannot see any weight markings on the barrel, you would have to weigh it to confirm which type it is.
Good PLT for someone, using shearlegs, ropes and other dabber-type stuff ;)
 
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