14th century. Just under 6” length and 2 1/8” wide. More than double the width of a war arrow of the period. Iron, well forged with medial ridge both sides, one side more pronounced as usually encountered for arrows. European castles originally were quite different from the stone cores which remain today. Auxiliary buildings and attachments of timber and thatch shared the courts, attached to the walls and protruded from upper level walls. Siege weapons were designed to defeat these out structures, primarily with the goal of setting them afire which would spread to the main buildings. This example could tear through a foot of thatch which would stop arrows short. It could carry an incendiary package through the thatch to set the underside alight, creating an almost uncontrollable fire. This would be difficult to reach, and water (precious enough in siege conditions) needed to be thrown from below, defying gravity, in order to douse the flames. Only surviving example we know of.

Item ID: FNS5213

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