England 2006

July 18, 2006 – Day 5c

Throwing Stones

Here are all of today’s photos

Day 5c: Throwing Stones

Warwick swan on the River AvonAfter the explorations of Warwick Castle (see last journal/trip report entry), there was a scheduled trebuchet show.

For a bit of historical background, a trebuchet was used in midieval times as a siege engine to attack a castle or fortified structure by throwing things at or over the walls. Heavy projectiles were thrown to break walls and objects ranging from flaming projectiles to horrifying payloads (dead animals, human bodies, etc.) in order to intimidate the enemy.

A group associated with Warwick Castle has built, from 13th Century plans, an authentic trebuchet that is used for demonstrations… we were fortunate to be able to see this mighty machine in action.

While we were waiting for the show to start, we had some really nice views of the River Avon, which ran alongside Warwick Castle and flows down towards Stratford-upon-Avon. There were swans here, too!

Preparing the trebuchet
In this picture, the payload is being prepared with the lever arm still in the unloaded (vertical) position:

The trebuchet is ready to fire
Here, the trebuchet is fully “loaded”, with the lever arm pulled down into the horizontal position by men who walked in the “hamster cage wheels” to pull this arm into position against the counter weights:

Warwick trebuchet launch animation
When they released the lever arm, it threw the projectile into the air, some several hundred yards downrange.

This is an animated GIF I made of several rapid-fire photos (I love my camera!). Click on it to see a much bigger (and better) version!!!

In the last couple of frames, I put a red circle around the projectile as it went sailing off into the forest!!!

Trebuchet close-up
After the show, we were able to cross an old footbridge over the Avon and get some close-up looks at this magnificent replica:

Trebuchet projectiles
Box o’projectiles:

While we were across with the trebuchet, we were presented with some really nice views of Warwick Castle from this side of the Avon:

Warwick Castle along the River Avon
Warwick Castle along the River Avon

Warwick peacock
Warwick is also home to a number of peacocks and peahens… here’s a really colorful guy:

This was a fantastic day in England… we really had a great time, seeing such amazing sites, having fun with our dear friends, and spending amazing quality time together as a family.

These times are going to become fewer and fewer as the kids get older… this was really a special day.