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Wednesday, January 5, 2011


The ballista is a giant crossbow which was developed by the ancient Greeks. The ballista's use continued into medieval times when it was found to be especially useful for defensive purposes and frequently mounted on towers or walls. The twin arms of the 'bow' were powered by torsion from skeins of twisted rope.

The ballista (see below) could shoot 1.5 metre long darts a distance of 100 metres and was considered a highly effective anti-personnel weapon.

The working replica of a ballista seen above can be viewed by visitors to Caerphilly Castle in Wales.

Caerphilly Castle is located between the B4600 and B4623 in central Caerphilly in southern Wales just north of Cardiff. Visitors to Caerphilly Castle may also want to visit the nearby Caerleon Fortress Baths, Caerleon Amphitheatre or Roman Legionary Museum Caerleon.

CF83 1JD
Tel:029 2088 3143

Caerphilly Castle Map

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