Friday, June 8, 2007

The Trebuchet

Although I have a degree in Medieval and Renaissance Studies, I never did care to study military history and had no idea what a trebuchet was when we arrived at Warwick Castle. Mathias and Alex, however, knew exactly what one was. They've played enough Medieval Total War video games. We headed immediately to this area for a show at noon. The photo above was taken from the grassy area across from the island on which the trebuchet sits. At the end of the presentation, there was a call for volunteers for the 3 PM show. Mathias and Alex couldn't wait. I had to lie about Alex's age, but it was well worth it.

We assembled at the trebuchet at 2:30 PM. The volunteers were given instructions and costumes.

This complex machine is operated by man power. The "hamster" wheels are used to coil a rope on a pulley and bring the giant, swinging arm down to be loaded. The photos directly above and below show Mathias and Alex in the wheels with two of the trebuchet crew members.

The final photo shows Alex and Mathias in the wheels alone. After the trebuchet's arm is tightly set to spring, the rope must be uncoiled. This only requires two people, Mathias and Alex. After they completed this task, a flaming ball was loaded and shot over 230 meters down the grassy island. It was absolutely spectacular. Nothing in my studies could have ever conveyed the sheer energy of this experience.

1 comment:

Wanda said...

Really Cool!!!