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The Trebuchet Talk

The Mighty Trebuchet

This is the largest siege machine IN THE WORLD! The colossal catapult is an authentic recreation of one of the biggest and most deadly military machines of all time.

Over the last 14 years our Mighty Trebuchet has thrown over 10,000 rocks but has now encountered some unexpected mechanical faults. So we can throw another 10,000 rocks, we have started the difficult job of searching for a new throwing arm – not an easy task!

To make sure you don’t miss out, we will be running a daily Trebuchet Talk led by our talented Trebuchet crew where you can learn about the fascinating history of this medieval siege machine and see how it was prepared for battle.

 

The Trebuchet

The trebuchet was the largest and most formidable of the siege machines and was, in essence, a huge catapult.

The trebuchet was used to hurl huge projectiles to breach the castle walls. Large rocks and stones were the main ammunition but there is evidence of more unusual material. Manure and dead animals were also hurled by the machines into the besieged castle to spread disease!

Pigs were often picked as the animal of choice as they were thought to be more aerodynamic! In this case, pigs most definitely could fly!

View a 360 panorama of the Warwick Trebuchet

Did you know?
Since being built in 2005, our Trebuchet has been shot at least 6,500 times!

Building the Trebuchet

The design for the Castle’s machine came from Dr Peter Vemming from The Mediaeval Centre in Nykobing, Denmark. Dr Vemming completed his first construction of the mediaeval trebuchet in 1989, following extensive research and preparation. Notes and drawings from the 13th century were used as the starting point for the reconstruction and were often referred to during the long process of developing the working replica of this powerful and accurate machine.

Under Dr Vemming’s guidance the Warwick Castle trebuchet was constructed at a carpentry firm in Wiltshire. The trebuchet is made primarily of oak but with the long throwing arm made of the more flexible ash. The necessary metal work has been made at the Mediaeval Centre in Denmark using traditional techniques.

The machine has been built as a kit of over 300 parts held together with metal fixings.

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