Mons Meg, the world’s most famous medieval gun, was welcomed back to Edinburgh Castle this morning after months of conservation work.
The six tonne cannon – which dates from the fifteenth century – was removed from the castle in January for the specialist work, the first time that the famous cannon had left the castle in 30 years.
Over the past two months, Mons Meg has been subject to a series of conservation techniques from bead blasting through to 3D scanning before being carefully repainted.
The oak carriage that Mons Meg sits on – a replica of a 16th century carriage – also underwent conservation and repair works by Historic Scotland’s expert joiners and blacksmiths.
Mons Meg arrived back at Edinburgh Castle on Sunday afternoon and this morning was lifted by crane in a tightly-controlled operation involving specialist personnel.
Nick Finnigan, Executive Manager of Edinburgh Castle said: “We are delighted to welcome Mons Meg back to the castle.
“To many people, Mons Meg is synonymous with the castle and visitors travel from all over the world to see her and be photographed by this most famous of historical icons and I am sure they will be thrilled to see her back on display.”
Richard Welander, Head of Collections for Historic Scotland said: “Mons Meg undergoes regular ‘health checks’ and inspections, but this was the most detailed and intricate work we’ve carried out on her in almost 30 years, when she last left the castle.
“The cannon was heavily over-painted, which obscured the iron underneath. The conservators carefully removed all the paint using bead blasting, which gently removed all paint layers, without damaging the metal below.
“Stripping all the paint off Mons Meg allowed us to carry out a detailed assessment of her condition. She looks like a robust bit of artillery but she’s actually quite vulnerable and we were able to see up close the damage done when she burst her barrel in 1681.
“Mons Meg is one of Edinburgh Castle’s most-beloved treasures and carrying out these essential works ensures she’ll be in top condition for visitors to enjoy for years to come.”