British 18pdr Hougoumont area
A fascinating historical piece.
We believe this is either a British 18pdr solid shot weighing approx 7.81Kilos with a diameter of just over 5.25 inches and circumference of approx 16.25 inches or possibly a last resort solid shot for one of Bulls battery long 5.5in howitzers. It would certainly fit in the howitzer and as there were no known 18pdrs at Waterloo it was either used by Bulls battery or came from the Siege artillery ammunition cart which we know made it to Waterloo before the battle commenced. ( The British siege artillery itself was left behind in Brussels) Contrary to popular belief Long barreled howitzers could and did fire solid shot in an emergency at close range along with canister shot.
It was found by a local farmer around Hougoumont and given to Derek Saunders during his 1979-85 expedition to repair the well and walls.
This one comes with a copy of the original note from Derek Saunders presenting cannonballs to his friend and stating that they were ploughed up and given to him by the local farmer. Provenance doesn't get any better than this one.
Cannonballs are now extremely rare finds and can only be found with deep scan metal detectors. On the day of the battle rain had made the ground very muddy and a lot of the estimated 42,000 cannonballs fired that day ended up deep in the soil. However this one did not seem to want to stay in the ground any longer and decided to pop out to end up here. Truly a unique find.
Condition amongst find from different areas of the battlefield varies a great deal with some items exhibiting lots of corrosion and some very little.
In overall superb condition.