© 2018, The Author(s). Conflict damage to heritage has been thrust into the global spotlight during recent conflict in the Middle East. While the use of social media has heightened and enhanced public awareness of this ‘cultural terrorism’, the occurrence of this type of vandalism is not new. In fact, as this study demonstrates, evidence of the active targeting of sites, as well as collateral damage when heritage is caught in crossfire, is widely visible around Europe and further afield. Using a variety of case studies ranging from the 1640s to the 1930s, we illustrate and quantify the changing impact of ballistics on heritage buildings as weaponry and ammunition have increased in both energy and energy density potential. In the first instance, this study highlights the increasing threats to heritage in conflict areas. Second, it argues for the pressing need to quantify and map damage to the stonework in order to respond to these challenges.