The cannon at the East Pier gardens is a familiar landmark, an object for children to clamber over and fire at imaginary pirate ships in Scotsman’s Bay and part of the spoils of the Crimean War.
According to the Kingstown Town Commissioners minutes of July 17, 1857, 16 pounds was raised from the townships rates for the purchase of one ‘Russian gun’ from the Secretary for War, Lord Panmure. The 24 pound gun arrived and was placed on a carriage that had been made at the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich, London. The gun was originally on displayed at a platform along Queen’s road, near to the Baths site. When the road was widened the cannon went into storage for 40 years and in 1974 it was put back on display at its present location at the East Pier gardens.
The Russian gun was one of nearly 3,000 that were captured during the Crimean War. Most of them were reportedly from the siege of Sebastopol – due to public discontent with the management of the war it is suspected that these numbers were exaggerated in order to show why the siege took so long. In the Treaty of Paris, which ended the war, it was agreed that each of the victors would receive cannons from the Russians as trophies of their victory. Some of these Russian guns were put on display in towns throughout Britain and Ireland. In Ireland over 20 towns are believed to have applied for and received a Russian gun for display. You can see the double eagle and crown of the Romanov family crest on the cannon today.
Article reproduced with permission: Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council in particular former Heritage Officer – Tim Carey Reproduced from: “Did You Know”.