IT has taken over 400 years but soon the Tower of London is going to get some of its guns back - at least for a while.
On Monday Falkland Islands-born adventurer, art historian and archaeologist Mensun Bound and a team began work on the recovery of cannon from a sunken Elizabethan ship that went down off the coast of Alderney in the Channel Islands in 1592. The Duke of York is behind the work that aims to conserve, replicate and test-fire the weapons found on this important wreck. Excavation Director Mensun, who is based at St Peter's College in Oxford, commented: "We are not just bringing up cannon, but also muskets, grenades, swords, rapiers, body a mour and helmets. This was a ship that was supplying an English army fighting in France to prevent a second Armada-style invasion by Spain." According to Mensun, the Alderney guns, along with those from the Mary Rose, represent the two most important naval gun collections in the world. "Between the Mary Rose that sank in 1545 and the Alderney ship, there were only 47 years, but in that time there was a revolution in military science," he said. "If Nelson saw some of those old stave-built, breach loaders guns on wood stocks from the Mary Rose, he would have been scratching his head; but one glance at ours and he would have known exactly what to do to rip a hole in his enemy's ships." Born Michael Bound, Mensun has led a number of notable marine archaeology expeditions including the Admiral Graf Spee off Montevideo, Uruguay. Penguin News