New & now
Fire! Did you know about the 17th century Maltese cannon at Tower of London?
The cannon was taken to England in 1800.

Kim Vella

The Maltese island's history has seen many colonisers ruling over its people, meaning we have been influenced by many cultures over the years. This also means that pieces of our history are found all over the world, including in London. 

The cast iron cannon found on the London tower ground is actually a Maltese piece of history dating back to the 1600s!  

The plaque beside the canon reads, "weighing five and three-fourths tons (5642 kg), this gun was commissioned by the Order of St John." 

17th century Maltese cannon in Tower of London

The cannon is lavishly embellished with several motifs that symbolise the Order's humanitarian and religious missions. Heraldic elements, bands of cupids and vines, and St. Michael destroying Satan decorate the detailed and historic piece.  

The cannon made its way to England in 1800 and was left at the Royal Arsenal in Woolrich until 1962, when it was transferred to the Tower. 

The cast iron carriage for the gun was designed by the Royal Carriage Department, Woolwich and made in 1827 by John Hall of Dartford, Kent, on the orders of the Duke of Wellington, Master General of the Ordnance. The carraige itself holds Malta's historic story, baring its coat of arms and scenes from the island.  

Possibly the best part of the entire piece is the strategically placed breech of the gun, which rests on an iron quoin in the shape of a Maltese dog. 

The gun and carriage were conserved at Royal Armouries Fort Nelson in 2003. 

d0gwalker/Flicker 

1st August 2022 


Kim Vella
Written by
Kim Vella
A highly curious explorer always looking to find her next adventure. Kim loves sharing her experiences and what's happening on the Maltese Islands. When not writing, you’ll probably find her playing around with some clay or somewhere surrounded by trees. She's always up for listening to people's stories about anything to do with nature, a passion project or issue you feel needs tending to.

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