Page 12-A, The St. Augustine Record, Monday; December 12, 1977
Stone Thrower MountedAt Historic Castillo
A 253-year-old bronze artillery piece, made in Bar-
-celona, Spain, has been hoisted into the Castillo de San
Marcos. George F. Schesventer, Superintendent of the
SNational Monument, announced that this valued addition
to the 305-year-old Spanish Fort will enhance the in-
terpretive displays enjoyed by thousands of visitors each
The mortar, which is 46 inches long and 27 inches wide,
has a 13-inch bore and is properly called a pedrero (a
stone thrower). It was made by Pedro Ribot in Barcelona
(Spain) in 1724. The bronze tube is on indefinite loan to the
National Park Service from the Yale University Art
Gallery and was in storage at the Castillo until a bed
(mounting) for it could be fabricated.
THE MORTAR WILL BE MOUNTED on a bed, made
-from eight pieces of cypress held together by iron bands,
straps and bolts, which overall measures 75 inches long,
39 inches wide and 15 inches high. Both the mortar and
ed together will weigh over 2% tons.
The bed was a special project accomplished by Park
[aintenanceman Charles T. Mask, 86 DeHaven St., who
allowed building plans based on 18th Century drawings.
his type of bed was no longer constructed after 1765 when
he Gribeauval system of artillery replaced all wooden
mortar beds with a type using bronze cheeks. The old
eds proved to be unsatisfactory because the recoil from
lese heavy mortars tended to damage the trunnion seats
nd furthermore they could not be disassembled easily for
'ansportation. Superintendent Schesventer stated that
ie Castillo now will have an example of both types of
mortar beds available for public view with the addition of
the new artillery piece.
THE TUBE OF THE MORTAR is ornamented with a
crowned oval between the dolphins (lifting handles) and a
wreathed Roman numeral V lies in the center of it. The
oval is edged with the necklace of the Order of the Goldei
Fleece, and at the bottom, there is a scroll with the in-
scription "Philip V, King of Spain."
Toward the rear of the mortar but above the touch hole,
there appears the crowned royal coat of arms with
another scroll bearing the inscription "Philip V, King of
Spain; Elizabeth Farnese, Queen of Spain."
PARK MAINTENANCE MEN FIT MORTAR TO BED
CREWS CAREFULLY LOWER MORTAR ON,
BRONZE MORTAR AND BED TOGETHER WEIGH
MORE THAN TWO TONS
LUIS ARANA STUDIES DIAGRAM OF ARTILLERY,
PIECE AND MOUNT