Define Trebuchet

Discover the powerful and accurate medieval siege weapon known as the trebuchet. Learn how it works, its history, and modern uses.

What is a Trebuchet?

A trebuchet is a type of medieval siege weapon that was used to hurl large projectiles at enemy fortifications. It is a powerful and accurate machine that was invented in China in the 4th century AD and later introduced to Europe during the Middle Ages. The trebuchet uses a counterweight system to launch objects with incredible force and distance.

How does a Trebuchet work?

The trebuchet consists of a long arm with a sling at one end and a counterweight at the other. The counterweight is typically made of stones or sandbags that are lifted up using a pulley system. When the counterweight is released, the arm swings forward, launching the projectile in the sling towards its target.

Types of Trebuchets

  • Traction Trebuchet
  • Counterweight Trebuchet
  • Hybrid Trebuchet

Examples of Trebuchets in History

One of the most famous trebuchets in history is the Warwolf, used during the siege of Stirling Castle in 1304. The Warwolf was capable of launching stones weighing up to 300 pounds over long distances, making it a formidable weapon of war.

Modern Uses of Trebuchets

Although trebuchets are no longer used in warfare, they have found a new purpose in the world of recreation and education. Many enthusiasts and historians have built scale models of trebuchets for fun and to teach others about the fascinating history of siege warfare.


The trebuchet is a remarkable invention that played a significant role in medieval warfare. Its power and precision make it a fascinating machine to study and admire, even in modern times.

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