Beverley Westwood Spigot Mortar Base

 


The next time you visit Beverley Westwood to enjoy a Burgess' Ice Cream take a minute out to find this hidden Gem. Around thirty feet from where the Ice Cream Van stands you will find a Spigot Mortar Base. Spigot mortars, a particular type of mortar, consist of a mostly solid rod or spigot, onto which a hollow tube in the projectile fits - inverting the normal tube-mortar arrangement. At the top of the tube in the projectile, a cavity contains propellant such as cordite. There is usually a trigger mechanism built into the base of the spigot, with a long firing pin running up the length of the spigot activating a primer inside the projectile and firing the propellant charge.

The advantage of a spigot mortar is that the firing unit (baseplate and spigot) is smaller and lighter than a conventional tube mortar of equivalent payload and range. It is also somewhat simpler to manufacture. The disadvantage is that while most mortar bombs have a streamlined shape towards the back that fits a spigot mortar application well, using that space for the spigot mortar tube takes volume and mass away from the payload of the projectile. If a soldier is carrying only a few projectiles, the projectile weight disadvantage is not significant. However, the weight of a large quantity of the heavier and more complex spigot projectiles offsets the weight saved due to the spigot mortar being lighter than a conventional mortar.

 

Here you can clearly see the base onto which the Mortar is fixed

 

The Beverley Westwood Base. Earth has almost covered it. It would have had a trench running all the way round.

 

A closer shot