Live From Edinburgh Castle

One O'clock Gun

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One O'clock Gun

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Installing the Cable Professor Charles Piazzi Smyth, the second Astronomer Royal for Scotland, supervised the project to set up the One o'clock Gun on the Half Moon Battery at Edinburgh Castle in 1861. The time gun fired for the first time on 7th June that year, having failed to fire on the 5th and 6th.

The One O’Clock Gun was fired every day from the river wall at Morpeth Dock, Birkenhead, to give ships a time check. The 32-pounder at the museum was the first (in 1867) of a series of guns. Ships would set their chronometers by the gun and, despite the introduction of radio time signals, this service continued until 1969.

The gun is fired every day at 1pm, except on Sundays, Good Friday and Christmas Day.

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