Object Title

Gun - Breech Loading iron Swivel Gun

Gun - Breech Loading iron Swivel Gun



Object Number



Old Tower Collection

Physical Description

The piece is of built-up construction, with shrunk-on trunnions and pivot. A heavy, open, stirrup-shaped frame is attached to the breech and ends in a long lever or tail for manoeuvring the gun. The frame is pierced on either side near the lower edge for the bar supporting the rear of the chamber and, further back, there are two rectangular openings for the wedge which forced the chamber home into the breech. The chamber is not original.


Dimensions: Length barrel: 34.5 in (87.7 cm), overall length: 52 in (162.6 cm) Weight: 1 cwt 2 qtr 4 lb (78 kg) Calibre: 3 inches


Serial Number None visible


3 in (7.62 cm)


Places Europe

Bibliographic References

H.L.Blackmore, The Armouries of the Tower of London, Ordnance Catalogue, H.M.S.O. London 1976, P.150.


This gun appears in the 1838 'Guide', p.20, as:'A wrought iron peterara, time of Edward IV, A.D. 1461', and it is the only cannon illustrated in the 1841 'Guide'. It was known in the seventeenth century as a 'sling' or 'Portugal base' and would have been used for firing small bullets in the fashion of the later ships musketoons. The chamber, which does not fit the breech of the gun, has apparently always been associated with the gun, and Hewitt illustrated the two together in his 1841 'Guide' although making it clear that the chamber did not belong. In his 1916 'Inventory' ffoulkes also showed the chamber with the gun but expressed no doubt as to the association.