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It is not known when and where the Mayflower was built, but it is likely that she was launched at Harwich in the county of Essex, England.She was designated as "of Harwich" in the Port Books of 1609–11, although later known as "of London".Far forward on the main deck, just aft of the bow, was the forecastle space where the ship's cook prepared meals for the crew; it may also have been where the ship's sailors slept.The poop deck was above the cabin of Master Jones, on the ship's highest level above the stern on the aft castle.To get up to the main deck, passengers were required to climb a wooden or rope ladder.
The largest gun was a minion cannon which was brass, weighed about 1,200 pounds (545 kg), and could shoot a 3.5 pound (1.6 kg) cannonball almost a mile (1,600 m).
Later at New Plymouth, Mayflower Master Jones unloaded four of the pieces to help fortify the colony against invaders, and would not have done so unless he was comfortable with the armament that he still had on board.
Below the gun deck was the cargo hold where the passengers kept most of their food stores and other supplies.
The Mayflower also had on board a saker cannon of about 800 pounds (360 kg), and two base cannons that weighed about 200 pounds (90 kg) which shot a 3 to 5 ounce ball (85–140 g).
She carried at least ten pieces of ordnance on the port and starboard sides of her gun deck: seven cannons for long range purposes, and three smaller guns often fired from the stern at close quarters that were filled with musket balls.