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Description: Timeball Tower
Date Listed: 8 February 1974
English Heritage Building ID: 176935
OS Grid Reference: TR3780152476
OS Grid Coordinates: 637801, 152476
Latitude/Longitude: 51.2219, 1.4042
Explore more of the area around Deal, Kent at Explore Britain.
TR 3752 SE 4/180
Originally this building, situated at the entrance to the old Navy Yard, was
one of 10 royal signal towers used to semaphore messages to the Admiralty from
tile fleet at the Downs during the Napoleonic Wars. In 1855 the tower was adapted
to form a Time-Ball Tower. At Greenwich in 1855 the 1st Time Ball was installed
to enable ships on the Thames to check their chronometers. In 1855 a similar
Time Ball of copper, mounted on a 14 ft mast was installed on top of the old
semaphore station in Deal. At 12.55 pm every day the ball was raised halfway,
at 12.58 pm it was raised to the top of the shaft and at 1 pm it was brought
down by electric current direct from Greenwich and was thus able to give Greenwich
Mean Time to ships on the Downs. This system was in operation until 1927 when
it was replaced by wireless time signals.
Early C19, 4 storeys stuccoed. Hipped slate roof. On top is a copper ball
surmounted by a cross with the points of the compass on it and an arrow. 2 sashes
with glazing bars intact but modern metal casements and doorcase to ground floor.
Listing NGR: TR3780152476
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.