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Archaeologists In England Discovered A Set Of Eight Medieval Catapults Just Outside Kenilworth Castle

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In the 13th century, a siege that lasted for almost half a year occurred. Recently, a set of eight medieval catapult projectiles from this time were discovered by archaeologists from English Heritage, a charity that manages historic sites and monuments.

The catapult shots were found near Kenilworth Castle in Warwickshire, a county located in the West Midlands of England.

The siege of the castle took place in 1266 when England was in the middle of a conflict known as the Second Barons’ War, which was fought between the forces of rebel barons led by Simon de Montfort against King Henry III and his nobles.

In 1244, the king had given Kenilworth Castle to Montfort, the Earl of Leicester and the king’s brother-in-law. When the Second Barons’ War began in 1263, Montfort used the castle as a military base. He was killed at the Battle of Evesham in 1265, but his forces continued working from the castle.

Henry III sent a messenger to the rebels in 1266. The messenger returned to him with a severed hand, which angered the king greatly. So, he ordered his men to try to take back the castle.

They laid siege to the fortress for a total of 172 days between June and December of 1266, making it one of the longest-lasting sieges in English medieval history. It was also one of the largest sieges in terms of the number of soldiers involved.

The king’s forces used various weapons to launch their attacks, including catapults that could fire large stone projectiles. The newly discovered projectiles were located outside the western walls of the castle. They were buried just underneath the ground’s surface.

It is likely that both sides fired them during the siege. The projectiles were all different sizes. The largest of them weighed around 230 pounds, while the smallest were only two pounds.

“We were able to immediately link these findings to the 1266 siege because of similar finds recovered during an archaeological excavation of Kenilworth Castle in the 1960s,” said Will Wyeth, a properties historian at English Heritage.

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