The line of cannon on Gun Hill are often mistaken for mid-nineteenth century Crimean War cannon. In fact they are much earlier. They are included on this Crimean Cannon web site because their acquisition and display set a precedent for what was later to be a similar but much larger gesture following the Crimean War.
The six iron cannon have been on the cliff top since the mid-18th Century. The cannon commemorate the naval Battle of Sole Bay in 1672, but the current ones were given to the town in 1746 by the Royal Armouries. The guns were used for various celebrations and in 1842 when celebrating the Prince of Wales birthday, one gun misfired. A young soldier named James Martin, looked down the barrel and unfortunately the gun blew his head off. He died leaving a widow and 3 young children - many claim to have seen his ghost walking on the hill. This was the last time the guns had been fired.
Southwold cannon time line - 1672 Battle of Sole Bay - 1746 Current cannon given to town by Royal Armouries - 1842 Cannon last fired (for birthday of the Prince of Wales) - 1950s Carriages were replaced at a cost of 4,000 pounds - 2014 The six Southwold Gun Hill cannon needed repairs because their carriages were rotting. Repairs have followed.
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England - Central