You couldn’t have a project that’s further removed from building a timber frame home.
Way back in 2002, we were asked to build a faithful recreation of a Roman war machine – a ballista – for a TV documentary, to be screened by the BBC and the Discovery Channel.
As timber engineers, we do get asked to build a lot of unusual things – things which other framing companies couldn’t even attempt. This was, perhaps, one of the more unusual.
The ballista was successfully built and managed to fire a very heavy stone ball some 127 yards. (Remember, these things used to successfully lay siege to entire cities.)
The ballista, dissembled, has been in our Scotland timber yard since then, so we have decided to make some room (quite a bit of room, actually) and sell it on eBay.
The ballista has aged gracefully and needs a little restoration work to get it back into shape again – though as a demonstration piece rather than as a fireable weapon. We’ve decided to sell the ballista ‘as seen’ for those who fancy constructing it themselves – though we are very happy to provide construction as an additional service. (To be fair, we recommend it – it will take people with timber expertise to do the required work.)
The resulting ballista may well be a very sound investment. Similar devices (such as the trebuchet that we built for Warwick Castle) attract thousands of visitors, so it shouldn’t be a problem getting a sound return on investment.
The ballista is the most faithful recreation ever attempted – and its recreation involved teams of experts all working together. It stands 7.5 meters tall, it is 8.5 meters long and weighs 12 tons – so the buyer won’t be picking this up in a Transit van and it won’t fit in a typical garden.