Gun Carriage Cheek


The complete right cheek of a gun carriage was found and recovered in the 2008 season. The check still has a section of the bed attached and part of the transverse bolt that would have connected the two cheeks of the carriage together. The fastenings between the bed and the cheek survive in situ, as well as part of the capsquare.

The cheek is made from a single piece of straight grained wood measuring c.1385 x 540 x 90mm with its height falling by c.75mm in six steps. A semi-circular recess is located at the top of the carriage for the gun’s trunnions, has a depth of 56mm, this is approximately half the diameter of the trunnions (110mm) on SCW25, which would have been enclosed by the capsquare.  One large bolt goes through the front of the cheek fixing it to the bed securing the capsquare.  Several concretions indicate that there are additional bolts and nails supporting the iron work of the carriage.

Part of a transverse bolt survives as a concretion 220mm below the trunnions slots which may have maintained a wooden transom; however no trace of this can be seen.

In carriages of this type, the breaching line would have gone through the hole in the cheek behind the breast transom rather than around the gun (Moody, 1952).  The breaching hole on the swash carriage has a diameter of c.60mm which is smaller than the diameter of SCW696 (c.72mm) and has been interpreted as a breaching line.

The cheek is attached to a bed fragment which measures 1470 long x 109 x 120mm, and is mounted flush with the bed. Two mortises for the axle to be attached to the bed can be seen on the inner face of the carriage. Both axle mortises measure approximately 155mm, consistent with SCW1425 & 1298.

By combining the elements recovered a whole set up for the 12 pounder Finbanker cannons was produced, see SCW33