Located on the River Island, our trebuchet is one of the worlds largest replica siege machines. It's an authentic representation of an impressive medieval weapon, once used for attacking and invading castles.
As fortresses and armies improved their defences over the centuries, the tactics and weaponry used to attack and conquer had to develop. Siege machines were introduced in the 13th century, of which the trebuchet was one of the largest and most destructive.
They were used to catapult large projectiles, such as rocks and boulders, weighing up to 90 kilograms, in an attempt to breach castle walls. Other more gruesome and unusual materials were sometimes launched, including animal carcasses or sewage to spread disease, flammable materials to cause fire, and even body parts of prisoners.
Of this size, the trebuchet would take up to 12 men to operate, however larger machines have been known to require up to 60 men. During a large attack, the skilled crew would attempt to launch a projectile every six minutes.
The trebuchet model at Warwick Castle was built in 2005 and is based on original designs from the 13th and 14th centuries. It was constructed with the support of specialist Dr Peter Vemming from The Medieval Centre in Nykobing, Denmark and the Wiltshire Oak Company®.