Some questions were raised yesterday about the society Trebuchet… so here is a picture of it and some information about our engine and siege engines in general.
We believe that the MSS Trebuchet is the largest functioning portable trebuchet in the country, being about 21 foot in height at rest and weighing in at just under a ton when fully assembled and loaded. The limits for our Trebuchet are imposed by the size, height, length and weight limits of transporting it in the UK, driving licences and H&S rules! But it is still a very impressive machine and popular with clients and public.
It is capable of shooting about 200 yds and our current shot to shot record is less than one minute! Our trained sappers can actually launch any basically spherical ~2lb object. For example cabbages, melons or our own specially developed collapsing rounds that are designed to be fully biodegradable and safe to shoot into historical walls without causing them any damage.
We have used these ‘special fruit’ at locations like Dover Castle and Old Sarum, where this picture by Pauline Cload was taken.
Our Trebuchet is available to hire with its crew and has appeared in various T.V. and film productions over the years as well as being a regular at Herstmonceux – http://www.herstmonceux.com/, Hedingham Castle https://www.facebook.com/likehedinghamcastle and other venues throughout the year.
The MSS Trebuchet is about one third scale of original examples. Those were constructed by skilled sappers at the siege site, using ratios derived from the tallest tree felled, which would become the main throwing arm. A trebuchet (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trebuchet) would be supported by many troops and often other engines and siege works such as battering rams, pavaises, stakes, saps and undermining works and as the medieval period progressed, fire arms, canon and bombards. The MSS can also support our Trebuchet in a similar way.
We know there are larger examples of Trebuchets in the country, but they are all static, fixed – often concreted into their locations and some are not even functional.
Historically many things were given special names, including siege engines. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_engine) names were often quite fierce or designed to be intimidating… like Bad Neighbour, WarWolf (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warwolf) or God’s Hammer.