10-inch spherical shell
A 10-inch spherical shell dating back to the mid-19th century has been added to our museum collection through a purchase. The shell is cast in iron and is hollow inside to allow filling with explosives. It has a round opening in its outer shell which allowed its filling and also the fixing of a wooden time-fuze to regulate its time of flight before exploding. 10-inch smooth-bore howitzers were mounted at the Saluting Battery between the 1850s and 1870s. They were mounted on wooden traversing carriages in the salient angles of the battery and on wooden chock carriages along its left flank facing the harbour's entrance. During this period, Shell Guns were used to lob exploding shells onto attacking ships in an effort to destroy and sink them. 10-inch shells were also fired from mortars but they differed in appearance for they had two small ear-like handles on either side of their fuze-holes to allow lifting into the muzzle of a mortar.
A small 9 x 12cm black and white photograph showing the Saluting Battery immediately after the end of the war has been obtained for the archives of the museum. Although it is not clear when this was taken, it clearly shows signs of neglect and war damage. It also shows the iron pallisaded enclosure that was added to the battery after 1924 when parts of the property were extended with the above garden and opened up to the public. The iron pallisade safeguarded the guns from the public. Also of note is one of two public lights which were added to the battery in the 1920s.