Greenwich Where time begins

Greenwich where time begins

The subject for Becky’s squares in October is the past. I have a history degree and I belong to a history walking group called “A walk in the Past” so I should have no difficulty coming up with suitable photos for the challenge .

Last weekend we visited Greenwich in London and a lot of our conversation was about the nature of time itself so I am choosing a past theme I missed “time”.

We all know that time on earth is measured by the rotation of the earth around the sun which takes about a year and the earth spinning on its axis which takes about a day. However  there was a lot of debate about where time should start. In previous centuries every town could use a sun dial to measure local time. It did not matter if you got up later in different countries.  As the railways expanded people realised that there needed to be an international time standard. 

After a lot of discussion and some opposition from the French, an imaginary longitudinal line which passes through Greenwich was accepted as the Prime Meridian dividing the Western and Eastern Hemisphere and GMT was born. It crosses the equator in the middle of the ocean so there is no chance for selfies.

A small stud marking the Prime Meridian.
Standing on the Prime Meridian at Greenwich, one foot in the Western Hemisphere and the other in the Eastern hemisphere

At night they shine a green laser from Greenwich across the Thames towards Canary Wharf to mark the Prime Meridian. I did not pay the £25.00 entry fee for the Royal Observatory and instead took my photo across a marker stud in the next street.

Tourists visiting the Prime Meridian at the Royal Observatory.

Since 1833, the red ball has been dropped at 1. ships on the Thames can set their clocks accurately. The building is Flamsteed House which was named after John Flamsteed the first astronomer royal and designed by Sir Christopher Wren.

If you want to see what other bloggers have found for #pastsquares look no further.

Author: Anne Fraser

I am a retired nurse from Bristol. I am married with five grown up children, two grandchildren, a boy and a girl and two cats Heidi and Tilly. I like rambling, history and travel and I am hoping to connect with other people around the world who share my interests. I am especially keen to hear from other older bloggers.

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