Mons Meg

Capable of blasting a 150kg gunstone for 3.2km (two miles) Mons Meg was at the cutting edge of military technology.

In 1460, three years after being given to James II by Duke Philip of Burgundy, she was hauled 50 miles to the siege of Roxburgh Castle. The unfortunate king was killed there when another of his cannons exploded.

James IV returned Mons Meg to action in his attacks on Dumbarton and Norham castles.

She ended her fighting days in James V’s navy and retired around 1550.

In 1558, she fired a gunstone to Wardie Muir, now the Royal Botanic Garden, to celebrate the marriage of Mary Queen of Scots. Her barrel burst in 1681.

After 75 years in England, Mons Meg made a triumphant return to the castle in 1829, escorted by cavalry and infantry from the docks at Leith.


Mons Meg sits outside St Margaret’s Chapel, just beyond the Whisky and Finest Food Shop.