Historical information

This small cannon ball was found by the donor around 1975 to 1977 when he was digging a trench to install underground cables at the Warrnambool Surfside Caravan Park' Its location is just below both Cannon Hill and the 19th century Fortifications at Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum and Village.

The ball is made of iron. Cannon balls were used as ammunition for a cannon gun and fired at a target. This cannon ball is only 8 cm round, or 4.15 inches, and is likely to have been called a 4-pounder (4-pdr). The ball was made from molten iron was poured into the small opening of a two-piece mould. The seam between the moulds sometimes left a raised ring mark on the ball, as can be seen on this ball. The ridge would have been filed to make the join smooth, sometimes leaving a slightly flat area.

Six 4-powder cannons were recovered from Endeavour Reef, Queensland, in 1969. They were from Captain Cook's HMS Endeavour, thrown overboard when the ship struck a reef there in 1770. They are likely to have been mounted on deck cannon carriages on the ship. Similar 4-pounder cannons were mounted on gun carriages and used as field guns.


Cannons with cannon balls as ammunition were installed at Warrnambool for protection from possible invasion in the mid-to-late 19th century and early 20th century.

Physical description

Cannon ball, iron, black with a pitted shiny surface. It has three flat areas and evidence of a seam around the circumference. There are remnants of a possible inscription stamped into the iron. The cannon ball is a four-pounder ball. Imperial weight is 71 oz (201.3 gms or 4.44 pounds).

Inscriptions & markings

Remnants of an indecipherable stamp and / or red text.