Gurkhas shift Medieval catapult at Dover Castle

By Culture24 Staff | 27 January 2010
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A photo of soldiers moving blocks of wood in luminous jackets and hard hats

A giant catapult of the type used to hurl stones at Medieval armies during 13th century sieges at Dover Castle will be dismantled and repositioned by a team of Gurkha soldiers.

Renowned for their bravery and strength during campaigns for the British and Indian armies, the Folkestone-based H Troop Gurkhas will shift the replica Medieval weapon from the Castle's Great Tower to a new spot near the outer walls, closer to its original vantage point.

A photo of soldiers workinng on a piece of wooden machinery in luminous jackets and hard hats

The Gurkha troops are dismantling the catapult as part of their training. © English Heritage

"We are delighted that the Gurkhas from H Troop have agreed to help us carry out this unique task," said Steve Lang, Head of Visitor Operations at the Castle.

"The catapult is nine metres tall from the top of its arm and will be dismantled screw by screw with the pieces carried by hand to their new location.

"It is a huge job and will be similar to taking a giant jigsaw puzzle apart and putting it back together again."

A photo of soldiers in luminous jackets and hard hats working on a piece of wooden machinery next to an ancient castle

Head of Visitor Operations Steve Lang compared the task to "taking a giant jigsaw puzzle apart and putting it back together again". © English Heritage

The stone-throwing engines – known as trebuchets – bombarded the castle walls with missiles during an enemy onslaught in 1216.

The operation is expected to take two weeks to complete.

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