Gallery: Historic cannon returns to Suffolk

NEARLY a decade after it left Suffolk, a fascinating piece of maritime history has made the journey back to where it was discovered.

NEARLY a decade after it left Suffolk, a fascinating piece of maritime history has made the journey back to where it was discovered.

Members of the diving team which unearthed the giant 16th century cannon from the seabed off Dunwich welcomed its return to the county and Dunwich Museum, where it will take pride of place among the exhibits.

The 11-foot bronze giant sparked controversy in 2001 when the Royal Armouries removed it from outside Orford Crafts shop, where it was being displayed by marine archaeologist Stuart Bacon.

The one-and-a-half tonne cannon, found by Mr Bacon and his team of Suffolk Underwater Studies divers in 1994, was taken to Fort Nelson, in Portsmouth, by keeper of artillery Nicholas Hall, who also oversaw its return to Dunwich.

Mr Bacon said he was “absolutely thrilled” to see it again after so many years, adding: “This was by far my proudest discovery. To this day I am still asked what happened to the cannon outside the shop and now I can say it's just a few miles up the road. This is no ordinary gun, it's very special.”

Mr Hall was equally pleased to see the gun returned to Suffolk, saying: “It was always the intention to bring it back. I think it was pretty well understood that for conservation and security reasons it could not stay where it was, but the Royal Armouries always maintained that if we could send it back we would.”

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