Meet the Crew of the Mary Rose

Large Guns


The guns of the Mary Rose were ready to fire deadly stone and iron shot at an enemy ship. The Mary Rose carried two sorts of big guns.


Bronze Guns

Weighing up to 2.5 tons, these were loaded from the front. They are called muzzle-loaders. These guns could fire an iron cannon ball over a mile, but were only accurate at much closer range.


All the bronze guns were decorated and some had the maker’s name on them. They also had lifting rings in the shape of lion’s heads, dolphins and mermen on them. These guns were very expensive to make and were decorated to show they belonged to King Henry VIII

One of our guns was chosen by the British Museum for their History in 100 Objects project!


Iron Gun

Iron guns were made in the same way as a barrel, with metal staves held together by iron rings. They were not as strong as bronze guns, and could not shoot as far.

The iron guns were loaded in a different way from the bronze guns. They had a breech chamber at the back that was taken out, using the lifting rings, to be filled with gunpowder. Every iron gun had two of these chambers, so the gun could be loaded and fired quickly.