Cannon Yard

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Cannon Yard


(Pushechnyi Dvor), in Moscow, the central foundry of the Russian state in the 15th to 17th centuries, situated on the left bank of the Neglinnaia River, near present-day Dzerzhinskii Square and Pushechnaia Street.

The Cannon Yard was built in the late 15th century. The oldest known cannon were cast there by the master Iakov in 1483–84. The Cannon Yard was one of the most technologically advanced foundries of its time. In the 15th century it produced cannon with bell-shaped muzzles; in the late 16th century, breech-loading guns with wedge-shaped breechblocks; and in the early 17th century, the first rifled harquebus. The Cannon Yard was a state-owned factory. Its masters and apprentices were in the service of the government and were paid in money, food, and sometimes even land. A school of Russian cannon-makers developed at the Cannon Yard. One of them was A. Chokhov, who cast the Tsar’s Cannon in 1586.

In the 16th century the Cannon Yard produced bells and church chandeliers. From the 17th century, the forge hammers were driven by energy derived from falling water. The yard lost its importance in the early 18th century, with the creation of a number of military plants throughout the Russian Empire. In the late 18th century the casting of cannon was transferred to the Briansk Arsenal, and the Cannon Yard became a depot for cannon, ammunition, and banners. These supplies were transferred to the Kremlin Arsenal in 1802, at which time the buildings of the Cannon Yard were razed.


Fal’kovskii, N. I. Moskva v istorii tekhniki. Moscow, 1950.
Istoriia Moskvy v shesti tomakh, vol. 1. Moscow. 1952.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.