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64-pdr 58 cwt RML, Hay's Level

Ref: ORD124

Date: c1850                                                                       

Visible Markings: No. 967 on left trunnion.

Cypher of Queen Victoria on second reinforce.

Material: Wrought Iron                                                


Remarks: In the 1860s, the Royal Artillery converted its large stocks of serviceable but by then obsolete smoothbore guns into rifled ordnance using a technique designed by William Palliser. The Palliser conversion consisted of inserting a stronger wrought iron inner tube in the old cast iron barrel.

The gun was bored out to 10.5 inches and a new built-up wrought iron inner tube with inner diameter of 6.29 inches was inserted and fastened in place. The gun was then rifled with three grooves, with a uniform twist of 1 turn in 40 calibres (i.e. 1 turn in 252 inches), and proof fired. The proof firing also served to expand the new tube slightly and ensure a tight fit in the old iron tube. Using this technique, this 32-pdr 58 cwt RML was converted to fire a heavier 64-pound shot. The date of conversion is shown on the left trunnion as 1874. Even as the guns were being converted, rapid advancement in gun technology was already rendering this type of ordnance obsolete.

This 64-pdr barrel was one of two guns found at Europa Point in 2002 and removed to Hay’s Level for storage. The length of the barrel is 184cm or 6 feet. It can be distinguished from other older 32-pounder models due to the rather more modern traverse ring mechanism attached to the Blomefield gun-ring.

VR cypher detail.

64-pdr 58 cwt RML recovered from Europa Point, 2002.

The two pieces recovered from Europa Point in 2002, now in storage at Hay's Level.

64-pdr 58 cwt RML, Hay's Level Image