Not sure? How about if I take you to one end?

Can you tell now?

It is an artillery gun, made of bronze. I came across it and many other guns at Fort Nelson in Hampshire. This Victorian fort is spread out over 19 acres on top of Portsdown Hill, and was once one of five defensive forts on the hill. It was operational for less than 20years, and by the 1950s had been abandoned by the army.

It became a museum in the 1990s and I was surprised how interesting it is. Away from the huge gun collection you can discover more about the lives of the soldiers who once worked and lived here, and perhaps best of all there are fabulous views of the Solent and Hampshire countryside. You may wish though to avoid the daily live firing demonstrations!

I must admit I struggle to get my head around the decorative engravings on artillery guns, in fact on any guns at all. I realise they were, and probably still are, status symbols that are expensive to make, but somehow it seems wrong to cover an item of destruction in artwork.

132 thoughts

  1. Seems like there’s always been artistic flourishes to weapons, especially if there’s a ceremonial element to them. Spears, swords, hand guns, and rifles, can be quite artistic, sometimes to assert, or inspire, the elan and bravery of the user. I’m not surprised there are artillery pieces like that. Did the museum have anything about the history of the guns? Here’s my square:

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    1. It did on some of the guns, but must admit this one I didn’t really notice as it was at the entrance and I wasn’t really paying much attention to the notices!!

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