10 Jan 05 1:08 PM
Reply To: 36307
Here is a historical account that might be somewhat helpful (taking place in 1315):
"The Chronicles of the Age of Chivalry", Tiger Books, 1995.
"From 22 July, Robert Bruce with his entire army laid siege to Carlisle for ten days. Every day of the siege they attacked one of the city gates, and some days all three gates at once, but never without loss, for the defenders hurled down on them from the walls darts and spears in such profusion that the besiegers wondered whether stones were breeding inside the walls.
On the fifth day of the siege, the Scots set up a machine near to Holy Trinity Church, to hurl stones at the wall and gate, but despite a continuous rain of stones they did little damage, killing only one man.
Inside the city, however, there were seven or eight similar machines, as well as other engines of war called ‘Springalds’ (which hurl long darts), and slings on poles for throwing stones, all of which terrified and injured the besiegers.
Then the Scots built a ‘belfry’, a tower-like structure, considerably higher than the walls, but they never succeeded in bringing it up to the walls, because as they were transporting it on wheels across some wet and muddy ground, it sank under its own weight and could be pulled no further.
They set up long ladders, which they climbed under covering fire from a huge body of archers, whose rain of arrows prevented the defenders from putting their heads above the parapet.
But - God be praised! - the defenders found the strength to hurl the ladders away. Many of the besiegers were killed, wounded or captured, there or elsewhere around the walls, but only two Englishmen were killed throughout the siege.
After ten days, whether because they had news of the approach of English forces, or because they despaired of success, the Scots returned homewards in confusion, leaving their siege engines behind them."