English Musket Ball From The Siege of Raglan Castle

The Siege of Raglan Castle

During the English Civil War the castle was held on behalf of Charles I but was taken by Parliamentary forces in 1646. In the aftermath, the castle was slighted, or deliberately put beyond military use; after the restoration of Charles II, the Somersets declined to restore the castle. Raglan Castle became first a source of local building materials, then a romantic ruin. It now attracts visitors as a modern tourist attraction.


musket is a muzzle-loaded long gun that appeared as a smoothbore weapon in the early 16th century, at first as a heavier variant of the arquebus, capable of penetrating heavy armor. By the mid-16th century, this type of musket went out of use as heavy armor declined, but the term musket continued as the name given for any hand held long gun until the mid-19th century. This style of musket was retired in the 19th century when rifled muskets (simply called rifles in modern terminology) became common as a result of cartridged breech-loading firearms introduced by Casimir Lefaucheux in 1835, the invention of the Minié ball by Claude-Étienne Minié in 1849, and the first reliable repeating rifle produced by Volcanic Repeating Arms in 1854. By the time that repeating rifles became common, they were known as simply “rifles”, ending the era of the musket.


Found by a Metal Detectorist on land by Raglan Castle in South Wales. 1 x lead musket ball from the siege of the castle during 3 June – 19 August 1646. He found upwards of 350 musket balls on this land from the siege. (Amount updated Sept 2020 due to new season detecting on the land this year)

During the English Civil War in 1646, Raglan Castle was besieged by parliamentarian forces. The Castle was in the ownership of Henry, Earl of Worcester who was a staunch Royalist. He garrisoned Raglan castle with as many as 800 soldiers at his own expense.

By June 1646, the castle was under siege, having been first attacked by an army under the command of Colonel Morgan and Sir Trevor Williams, who were later joined by additional forces under General Thomas Fairfax. The Marques surrendered the castle after a long siege. He was arrested and sent to Windsor Castle, where he eventually died.
Presented in a lovely clear container with accompanying card with an image of the actual detectorist finding one of the musket balls, with the castle in the background and on the reverse displaying the above explanatory text.

Date: 17th Century

Provenance: Acquired in 2021 from a metal Detectorists private collection – Bought in 2021 at auction from spaceonwhite – Now in the authors private collection

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