Southampton Wall Cannonballs – Southampton, England - Atlas Obscura

Southampton Wall Cannonballs

Many mysteries surround these objects questioning whether they are cannonballs at all.  


In the center of Southampton is an old medieval wall with a few “cannonballs” sticking out of it. However, no one can determine if the cannonballs are cannonballs, which begs the question: What are they, and how did they get there?

The core of the mystery stems from whether these objects were formed naturally or were hand-crafted. The argument to support the naturally forming theory comes from when Southampton docks were expanded in the late 19th century. Dredging operations unearthed hundreds of these cannonball objects, called concretions. It’s possible they were dug up and used in the wall when it was built.

Others believe the objects were shipped to France as part of King Henry VIII’s conquest of France, namely the port of Harfleur. A report states that some stones made for the bombardment were lost over the sides of ships. The stones could’ve been fished out and used in the wall.

The final theory comes from a 19th-century article that states the stones in the walls showcased where the French started their 1338 invasion and devastated the town of Southampton.

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April 8, 2024

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