One o’Clock Gun

Calton Hill Observatory
General view of the Observatory complex

Welcome to our website

This is the official website of The One o’Clock Gun Association a Charity located in the Edinburgh area of Scotland. The Charity is registered in Scotland with number SC046764.

Its objectives are set in its Articles of Association and, in summary, are:

1. To promote understanding and awareness of Edinburgh’s heritage, particularly the history of the city’s time service.

2. To increase public awareness of Edinburgh’s history, including the city’s buildings, monuments and clocks.

It was Charles Piazzi Smyth, second Astronomer Royal for Scotland who instigated Edinburgh’s Time Ball and Time Gun and who advised and assisted others in building their time services.

Prior to the formation of this organisation, Edinburgh was served by a charity called The One o’Clock Gun and Time Ball Association. Regrettably this former charity was dissolved some years ago due to a lack of ongoing funding. A residual website of this former charity is still resident on the web. However, all up to date information will be on this site and in our blog.

The One o’ Clock Gun Association was proposed  by Staff Sergeant McKay. It has been revived by the members who have a fascination for the history and heritage of Edinburgh. It was the current members who made virtually all of the contributions to the former Association website and who will be contributing to this site. The Association can be contacted using the form at the foot of this page.

We give an image of Calton Hill above. It was while working here as Astronomer Royal for Scotland that Charles Piazzi Smyth created both time services for Edinburgh.

Calton Hill occupies a central position in the heart of  Edinburgh and is a short walk from Princes Street, the main thoroughfare. There is a relatively steep climb to achieve the summit, but for those daunted by this a more leisurely circuitous route is available. The views are worth the climb, and and even more panoramic views can be obtained by climbing  the stairs of the Nelson Monument.

Since 2009 the City of Edinburgh Council has embarked on a course of action to develop the site and once again allow access to it. We are working on this project with the Council. It is this process that has given the impetus to revive the Association. The upgraded site will be open from the summer of 2018

We hope you enjoy our website and that you will be able to visit Edinburgh and see these fine historical sites in the future.

Contact us