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Greenfield, New Hampshire

The Yankee Siege Catapult

This modern medieval weapon of war was built to toss pumpkins. 

In 2004, a family of New Hampshire farmers conceived of and built a massive, six-story-tall trebuchet (a catapult with a weighted counterbalance that provides enormous throwing power) and named it the Yankee Siege.

The once bustling compound, home of the famed trebuchet, a moat, a target castle on a faraway hilltop and a giant mace sits quietly, waiting for the next round of fire to show off to a carload of pumpkin buyers or leaf-peepers. 

The mastermind behind the Yankee Siege is a local Greenfield, New Hampshire farmer who wanted to create a roadside attraction that would bring more customers to his farm stand. After watching an episode of NOVA that featured the 12th century war machines called trebuchets, he was struck with a little knightly inspiration.

The Yankee Siege has been a highlight for the tiny hamlet of Greenfield, bringing curious rubber-neckers to watch the contraption toss pumpkins, grown right on the farm, thousands of feet, even competing in “punkin chunkin” competitions.

The Yankee Siege was retired in 2010, and is getting a little rusty with age, but its builders are still proud of its once record-holding toss of 2,835 feet – more than half a mile. True Yankee ingenuity, with a medieval twist.  

 

Know Before You Go

Roughly three miles southeast from the center of Greenfield on Route # 31/Forest Road