Cannon found in a fort’s moat

A presumably 200-year-old cannon was recovered from the bottom of the moat surrounding Fort Gerhard in Świnoujście, North-West Poland.

Cannon lifted from the moat (by Olaf Nowicki)

The cannon has been found by accident, during routine clearing of the moat from broken branches and constructions made by beavers. Previously, when the level of water was lower, it was possible to uncover one end of the cannon and prepare the artefact for lifting. Chains were attached to it and a crane was used to bring it above the murky moat. The cannon was buried one metre in the silt on the bottom, and it had to be dug out at the beginning.

Lifting of the cannon (by Olaf Nowicki)

The cannon is said to measure 2 metres in length. According to Piotr Piwowarczyk of Fort Gerhard, first estimations allowed to date the object to early 19th century. It is said to be preserved in excellent condition, possibly due to being buried in anaerobic environment. It is yet unknown how the weapon got there, but the researchers believe it might have stood in one of the fort’s casemate in the early days of the fort’s functioning, somewhere in the 1850-60s.

Cannon cleared from mud (by Olaf Nowicki)

The cannon is scheduled for conservation works and will be put on display in the Muzeum Obrony Wybrzeża w Świnoujściu (Museum of Coastal Defence in Świnoujście) located at Fort Gerhard. Beside the cannon, numerous rifle bullets and a detonator dating back to World War 2 were uncovered from the moat.

Bullets found in the moat (by Olaf Nowicki)

(after Olaf Nowicki & Radio Szczecin)

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