P R O F I L E
Right - the Crimean Cannon visible on the left located near the King Alfred Statue.
The following appeared in the Hampshire/Portsmouth Telegraph, Winchester, Sat. 22 August 1857. 'The promised trophy from the Crimea, namely, a cannon captured at Sebastopol, arrived in the City on Saturday last. It was obtained through the good offices of our respected member, Mr. Bonham Carter. The gun measures 8 feet 5 inches, and the bore has a diameter of 71/2 inches. It is proposed to be placed on an earth mound and to be surrounded with iron railing, and the spot selected is the broad space at the junction of High and East-gate streets.'
We are grateful to John Foreman of the Abingdon Archaeological and Historical Society for informing us of the above.
The following is a precis of the Winchester Riot 1908 published on alresfordmemories web site accessible by clicking website below. The site contains contemporary pictures also.
Since 1858 a Russian Cannon had stood in the Broadway, at its junction with East Street. Captured at Sebastopol, it was seen as a monument to the Winchester-based Rifle Brigade soldiers who had fought in the Crimean War (1853-1856). To the townspeople, it became a symbolic soapbox, where meetings were held and bands played.
In May 1908, anticipating the city's National Pageant, the Mayor, Alderman Billy Forder, and City Council decided on a face-lift for the gun and carriage. They planned to remove the railings around the gun, to display it better, and to re-gravel the site and re-paint the gun and carriage.
However there were many townspeople who felt that removing the railings would mean the gun would become a 'nuisance' with children. A protest meeting was rapidly convened. Before a petition was considered however, the railings were removed. Another public meeting was held, and quickly got out of control. It turned into a riot. The Rioters used ropes to pull the gun from its carriage, and then embarked on an orgy of destruction, breaking street lamps and windows of shops and homes owned by councillors.
To defuse the crisis, the authorities quickly enrolled the riot leaders as special constables and peace was restored. The gun and its railings were replaced and survived until melted down during the Second World War.
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England - Southern
THE FEATURES PRESENT
Crimean Cannon Location, past or present