Archaeologists' find in Yorkshire 'could be King Henry VIII's cannon'

One of the team by what is believed to be the chopped through barrel of a cannon
One of the team by what is believed to be the chopped through barrel of a cannon
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Archaeologists may have found part of a 500-year-old cannon during a dig on a Henry VIII blockhouse in Hull.

More than 20 years ago when they investigated the site, a breech-loading cannon identical to the ones recovered from Henry VIII’s sunken flagship the Mary Rose, was found.

Archeologists have also uncovered the cobble surface of the internal yard of the late 17th century Citadel

Archeologists have also uncovered the cobble surface of the internal yard of the late 17th century Citadel

At the time they spotted a lump of iron at the edge of the trench, but could not explore further as it was beyond the remits of the dig.

Returning to the site of the South Blockhouse, which is next to the Deep aquarium earlier this week, they have now uncovered what appears to be the chopped through barrel of a gun.

Whether it was decommissioned or exploded during firing is not known, and it will have to be sent off for experts to be properly examined and conserved.

Ken Steedman, of Humber Field Archaeology, said: “If it is what we think it is, it is very exciting.”

King Henry V111 - as played here by actor Jim Brazendale at the Royal Armouries, Leeds - ordered new defences in Hull in the mid 16th century

King Henry V111 - as played here by actor Jim Brazendale at the Royal Armouries, Leeds - ordered new defences in Hull in the mid 16th century

Henry’s Gun, as the cannon found in 1997 is known, was designed for close fighting against ships and only four of its type survives worldwide.

The type of gun was mentioned in a list of Henry VIII’s property compiled in 1547.

So far the team has uncovered part of the entrance as well as the curving wall of one of three lobed bastions, which would have been mounted with cannon - faced towards Hull, some people say, because the townsfolk were known to be rebellious.

The dig continues until April 5.

The blue lines mark where the current dig is taking place on the South Blockhouse

The blue lines mark where the current dig is taking place on the South Blockhouse