Roaring Meg (cannon)
English Civil War
Created by Colonel Birch for the Siege of Goodrich Castle
Roaring Meg was a mortar cast in 1646 for the siege of Goodrich Castle. With a 15.5 inch barrel diameter and firing a 2cwt hollow ball filled with gunpowder, Roaring Meg was the largest mortar of the English Civil War. The weapon and its ammunition is believed to have been manufactured near Lydbrook at Howbrook furnace and forge whose then owner, John Browne, is known to have supplied weapons to the Parliamentarians.
She was instrumental in the capture of Goodrich Castle in 1646 by Sir Thomas Fairfax. During the siege the Roundhead commander, Colonel Birch, was so excited with his new weapon he personally fired the last 19 balls. Following Roaring Meg's success at Goodrich, it was subsequently deployed at the bombardment of Raglan Castle. Roaring Meg is preserved by Herefordshire Council and has been on display at Goodrich Castle since 2004.
A cannon in the Earl of Northampton's Regiment
In popular culture
A tributary of the river Beane is called the Roaring Meg - A rock band and a retail park in Stevenage have been named after this.
A Blonde Beer brewed by the Springhead brewery in Sutton on Trent takes its name from the cannon.
Made famous in Monty Python with the quote, "The whole garrison banged Roaring Meg and shot their balls into the French"
- Plaque on Roaring Meg
- Civil War Around the Forest of Dean
- NDS - News Distribution Service
- Roaring Meg
- Earl of Northampton's Artillery page
- Derry City Council - Roaring Meg to get a makeover