Did You Know?
- Mons Meg
In 1457, King James II was presented with two massive siege guns by his uncle by marriage, Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy. The surviving gun is now called Mons Meg and it is displayed in Edinburgh Castle. ("Meg" in Scotland is one of the short forms of "Margaret").
Made in Mons in Belgium it fired missiles weighing 330lbs (150kg) over two and a half miles.
It saw action against the English at the siege of Norham Castle in 1497. But its great weight (over six tons) meant that it could only be moved at the rate of three miles a day so it was retired and used only on ceremonial occasions.
It is known to have been fired in 1558 to celebrate the marriage of Mary Queen of Scots to the French Dauphin (heir apparent). When it was fired in 1681 to celebrate the birthday of the Duke of Albany (later King James VII) the barrel burst and had to be repaired.
For a time it was stored at the Tower of London but it returned to Edinburgh Castle in 1829. It was moved indoors in 1980 to help preserve it but in 2001 it reappeared on the battlements of the castle, much to the delight of visitors.
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