Portsmouth in Hampshire County, England, United Kingdom
Noon Day Gun
The Noon Day Gun was originally fired to allow ships to check the accuracy of their marine chronometers, an instrument necessary for the accurate calculation of longitude. As light travels faster than sound observers would watch for smoke from the muzzle rather than listen for the sound of the cannon, a tactic which increased precision.
The practice of firing a gun at noon was widespread in European garrisons, particularly port garrisons. At one time, the signal was made from a man o'war, only later being taken over by the military garrison. Portsmouth was not the only city to maintain the tradition of firing daily signals - Edinburgh Castle, Fort Henry in Kingston, Ontario, Signal Hill in South Africa and Vancouver all fire daily.
The Noon Day Gun is another of those little idiosyncrasies that sets Gunwharf Quays apart and makes it such an exciting place to visit. This gun is a Royal Naval 12lb gun, forged in 1810 making it one of the oldest guns in the world. It would have originally been mounted aboard a warship and could fire up to 1,421 yards. It needed 8 men to operate, including a small boy 'the powder monkey' who would transfer gunpowder from the storage magazine in the hold to the gun crew.
Location. 50° 47.688′ N, Touch for map. Located in the Gunwharf Quays mall. Marker is in this post office area: Portsmouth, England PO1 3TR, United Kingdom.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 12 Inch Shell (a few steps from this marker); HMS Vernon Figurehead (within shouting distance of this marker); The Old Customs House (within shouting distance of this marker); Mark VIII Torpedo (within shouting distance of this marker); HMS Sirius (within shouting distance of this marker); British MMK1 Mine (within shouting distance of this marker); GPO K6 Telephone Box (within shouting distance of this marker); HM Gunwharf, Portsmouth (about 90 meters away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Portsmouth.
Categories. • Military • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on September 15, 2018. This page originally submitted on September 15, 2018, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 34 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on September 15, 2018, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.