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Guyana’s Awesome Cannons

Cannons of Guyana

Honestly, the Connons that can be seen around various parts of the country had become such a common sigh to me they had, sad to say, become practically invisible. In my sub-conscious I would register they were there when driving by certain areas, but never though about how they had gotten there or about their history until fans of the visit Guyana page started asking us for more information.

These solid and well preserved cannons are real reminders of the colonial era, testify to the military heritage of the country.

Cannons and other types of guns were introduced with the arrival in the West Indies of the Europeans, who brought these devices to terrify the inhabitants into subjection and a new way of life. For the Europeans, cannons were the tools of survival; for the people of the colonies, they were symbols of oppression.

To date, there are an approximate 31 known cannons scattered throughout the country, many of which owe their origins to such places as far off England and Sevastopol in the Ukraine. Displayed for the benefit of tourists and local interest alike, many can be found in the forecourts of the nation’s public and civic buildings.

Police Headquarters at Eve Leary

mounted at the entrance of the Police Headquarters at Eve Leary is a pair of nine-pound Blomefields of 28 cubic weight, which were cast by Carron’s, a Scottish foundry, and issued to British Guiana with carriages in 1818.

Located at the main entrance of the Police Officer’s Mess, again at Force Headquarters, Eve Leary, is a 4.7 inch MK II cannon which was manufactured in Britain around 1890. It is alleged that its issue to the colony of British Guiana in 1916 was for the purpose of coastal defence during World War I.

Camp Ayanganna

Mounted on clay brick bases are three cannons which stand at Camp Ayanganna, headquarters of the Guyana Defence Force. The first was cast at Carron’s in 1790, whilst the second and third were cast at Walker’s and most likely issued to British Guiana with carriages in 1818.

Berbice

There is also an eighteen or twenty-four pounder French/Dutch carronade which is mounted on the lawns of the Manager’s House at Plantation Skeldon, Berbice.

Fort Zeelandia
The nine-pound Finbanker measuring 7 feet by 4 inches stands guard at Fort Zeelandia, a National Monument that was once the administrative centre of the colony of Essequibo and Demerara. This cannon, which overlooks the Essequibo River, was most likely cast in the late 17th or early 18th Century.

National Trust

Believed to be of British origin, the newest addition to our collection is one which was discovered and excavated from Waterloo Street and subsequently mounted on the lawns of the National Trust of Guyana in November 2009.

(Text courtesy of the National Trust of Guyana)

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