The Padstow Guns
Two guns in a garage in Padstow were thought to have come from the Whiting so they were investigated as part of this project. The guns are in the posession of the Padstow Town Council.
One story is that the guns once graced the front of a local restaurant. One quote from a local man decades ago was that "they were displayed on the quay next to the frontage of the Clipper Restaurant on trunions (carriages) with a little plaque stating that they had come of of HMS Whiting." He added that the guns had been given to the old Urban Council.
It was also suggested that one of them had been recovered from a wreck on the Doom Bar by Richard Larn and Roy Davies in 1974 or 1975 after a huge shift in sand levels exposed a wreck. In correspondence with Richard he mentioned that four long guns were recovered from a site towards the middle and east side of Doom Bar. The site contained a line of timbers over 40 ft long showing on one side only with the guns visible but no other loose finds, no shot and no concretions. The guns were identified as Finbankers which were made in Sweden. Richard mentioned that one of the guns he recovered now stands outside the entrance to the Charlestown Shipwreck Museum. One gun was offered to the Padstow Museum at the same time but there are no records of this having been accepted.
Other Padstow locals have suggested that this site is known and lies off Clouter Rock on Stepper Point.
The guns were recorded in detail by Kevin Camidge and Peter Holt. The guns are in suprisingly good condition but the cascobel of gun 1 is in a poor state. Remains of black paint can be found on both guns and in the bore of one of the guns was found a paper napkin which may add weight to the story that at one time they were placed outside of a restaurant.
Whiting carried ten 12lb carronades and two iron 6lb long guns.
Gun 1 is made of cast iron, is undecorated and does not have any makers marks or other identification. This has been tentatively identified as a 9lb Armstrong from the bore of 103mm (4in) but at 1558mm (61.5in) is too short for a Royal Navy gun. The measurements may include errors of up to 5mm as the gun is corroded.
Gun 2 is another cast iron gun but is longer at 1800mm (71in) (base ring to face) and has a bore of 90mm (3.5in) so may have fired a 6lb shot. This one is more decorated than Gun 1 and has very low trunnions so is a much earlier design or is of foreign manufacture. The measurements may include errors of up to 5mm as the gun is corroded.