Four iron canons, estimated to belong the British era, were recovered on Thursday from the Queen Mary’s High School in Visakhapatnam.
The arms were discovered while workers were digging the school premises for construction. Owing to the increasing number of students, the school was given funds to construct a two-room building, reported The Times of India.
Archaeological experts who examined the canons, pointed out that the canons were smaller than the regular canons used by the Britishers. They observed that it could been made by the East India Company when they established an arms dump for the Army’s north division headquarters, which was administered by the Madras division, reported Deccan Chronicle.
Vijjeswarapu Edward Paul, a heritage conservationist and member of INTACH, told TOI, “The premises of the school and the surroundings housed an arsenal during the British era. However, in about 1860, the arms were shifted to Madras and Singapore. Some of the arms, which were not worthy enough to be shifted were left here.”
Speaking to DC, Paul explained, “The north division was administered by the Madras division. Around the 20th century, the army dump was shifted from there and the collector’s office was established. During transportation, the army men might have left behind some ammunition including these cannons.”
Narrating the history of the heritage site, he said that in 1913, the collector’s office was shifted from the premises, following which a medical school was set up. And finally, the Queen Mary’s school took over the premises.
Paul observed that if the cannons were cleaned scientifically, there were chances of finding some markings or engravements which could determine the history of the arms.
Resonating, Paul’s view, Andhra Pradesh Sarva Siksha Abhiyan district project officer T Siva Rama Prasad also said that they will initiate studies to explore what else might be hidden in the premises.
He told TOI, “These cannons can also be placed along the RK Beach road to create awareness among students and general public about our history.”
Queen Mary’s School is one of the oldest schools in the city, as it was built in 1913 elsewhere and was shifted to its present premises later. It enjoys heritage status, as it is a 265-old structure, which is currently under restoration.