Military In South Shields, Tyne And Wear
A unique gun that would disappear into its turret to reload, devised during the Crimean War.
Sitting up on Trow Rocks in South Shields is a special kind of gun. It's a bit magic as it can disappear, hence it being known as the Trow Rock Disappearing Gun.
During the Crimean War (1854-56) the gun and also the gunners were vulnerable to counter bombardment as they reloaded, so Captain CS Moncrief devised the idea of having the gun lower down into its concrete turret during the reloading process. Then it would just pop up as it was ready to be fired.
The original gun was designed and installed in 1877 and this version was mechanical meaning that the recoil would make it hide in the turret, but then the gunners would need to elevate it back once loaded.
There was exploration into using both hydraulic and pneumatic solutions, but were unsuccessful and the gun was eventually discontinued without being used in action.
A new battery was constructed a short distance away down the coast at Frenchman's Bay in 1903, however there is no trace of this today.
The gun you see today is actually a replica mounted by the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) in the 1990's. Not a bad view either.
If you want to read more and look into the technical aspects with full diagrams, head over to the Trow Rock Disappearing Gun page on the Northumbrian Gunner website.
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There is a large car park just a few minutes from the gun.
Contributed by Simon Hawkins
Thanks for checking out this place on the Fabulous North! I do enjoy a wander out in to the countryside trying to find hidden gems that not many people know about. You can't beat a rogue Pele tower up a remote hill or a mysterious stone circle or a stunning waterfall secluded in a forest.
A huge rock standing on the beach at Marsden, South Shields that has collapsed into an arch an then to a single rock.
A statue to local heroine Dolly Peel, a smuggler, fighter against the pressgang and eventually nurse.
Lime kilns on the coast near South Shields, built in the 1870s.
A six storey lookout tower used to assist gun turrets in both World War 1 and 2.
A defensive gun battery established near the mouth of the Tyne during the Anglo Dutch Wars in the 17th Century and used during various later conflicts.
WW1 acoustic mirror, which detected German Zeppelins as they approached the coast.
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