AN AMBITIOUS £500,000 project to build a new trebuchet at Warwick Castle is almost complete.
The new replica 22-tonne siege warfare machine will be built and up and running in time for its first show on April 1.
The trebuchet, which replaces the castle’s original trebuchet which fell out of action, will star in Legend of the Trebuchet – wowing visitors by hurling 90kg projectiles 300 metres in the air.
The giant catapult is being built using ironwork from the original trebuchet and specialist wood from France.
The wood from the original trebuchet – nicknamed Ursa, latin for bear, after Warwickshire’s famous bear and ragged staff emblem – is being used to make benches for the castle grounds.
An attempt was made to sell the original trebuchet on Facebook last year for an asking price of £100,000 but there were no takers.
It was the world’s largest example of this type of way machinery and replicated the 13th and 14th century original designs.
The same attention to historical accuracy has been taken on the new trebuchet.
Warwick Castle appointed Carpenter Oak to undertake the rebuild. Carpenter Oak not only built the original castle trebuchet but is also experienced in recreating historical siege weapons, including a Roman Ballista and Leonardo Di Vinci’s crossbow.
The wooden structure has been carved at Carpenter Oak’s specialist workshop and has now been moved to the Castle’s River Island where on-site construction is taking place.
The new trebuchet, which is being made to the same specifications as the old one, will be 18 metres tall, made from over 300 pieces of oak and weigh 22 tonnes.
Liam Bartlett, Operations Director at Warwick Castle, said: “For many years the trebuchet has been one of our most popular attractions and families would flock to see this exciting piece of authentic history in action.
“However, years of launching heavy projectiles hundreds of metres took its toll and the wear and tear got to the point where it was no longer safe to operate.
“We are delighted to be able to make this substantial investment to replace it and once again showcase this masterful piece of machinery. I can’t wait to see it unleashed again with a brand new show and I know our many visitors will feel the same.”
The Legend of the Trebuchet show will take place twice a day every day until November 5 and is included in the price of general admission tickets.
For more information visit www.warwick-castle.com