Signal Gun

Artist: Carron Iron Works, Falkirk

Location: Castlegate

Cast in the 1850s, the cannon, known as a carronade was similar to a mortar and used as a signal gun rather than a weapon.  It may have been used by the Dunbar Rocket  Brigade to fire shore to ship rescue lines to  vessels in distress in the 1850s, before Dunbar received its first RNLI lifeboat, the Wallace in 1865. According to London-based Tom Porteous of Tom Porteous Photography’s image of 2012,the gun was used to defend the  entrance to Victoria Harbour. It was more likely used by the Rocket Brigade. Two other cannon are embedded in the quay at the Old or Cromwell Harbour, used as bollards  to moor vessels. The guns are thought to have been salvaged from HMS Pallas or HMS Nymph wrecked off Broxmouth in 1810. One gun is situated near Johnny Cope’s Steps, a partial stone stairway named after the unfortunate General Sir John Cope who landed at Dunbar in September 1745 to lead the Hanoverian army against Charles Edward Stuart aka Bonnie Prince Charlie whose Highland Jacobite army defeated Cope at Prestonpans on 21 September1745 in less than fifteen minutes.Thanks are due to Neil McIntosh, Castle Gate for his knowledge of this historic piece.

The Carron Company was founded in 1759 on the banks of the River Carron, Falkirk, Stirlingshire. Employing over 2,000 workers, it produced military ordnance  for the Duke of Wellington during the Napoleonic and subsequent wars including the two World Wars. The company also made ammunition, including the type invented by Henry Shrapnel. The company ceased trading in 2002

What's Nearby?

The signal gun point directly toward the ruins of Dunbar Castle, ruins which you can no longer venture onto as it is home to the annual nesting kittiwakes.

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