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2.5
20 votes

Lyttelton Timeball Station

2 Reserve Terrace, Canterbury 8082 New Zealand

  • Independent
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“one of the few of its kind left in the world”

Like a Scottish castle dominating the scenic port of Lyttelton, the Timeball Station was one of the few of its kind left in the world. From 1876 to 1934 a ball dropped from its mast on its stone tower, signalling the time to ships in Lyttelton Harbour.  Visual time signals were important features of many of the world's ports, being necessary to correct ships' chronometers and ensure accurate navigation.  The timeball apparatus came from the well-known German firm Siemens Bros, and the astronomical clock from Edward Dent & Co. of London, who had made the Big Ben clock.  Use of the timeball was discontinued in 1934 when it was replaced by radio signals, though flag signals continued until 1941.  The flags, which predated the Timeball Station, were used on the flagstaff nearby to signal to ships and to communicate shipping advice to the town. A fine example of Victorian technology, the Timeball Station was one of only five in the world known to be still in working order.  It was a rare piece of maritime history, fabulously restored and boasting spectacular views over Lyttelton Harbour.  Sadly, the building was significantly damaged in the Darfield Earthquake on 4 September 2010, and damaged beyond repair in the event of 22 February 2011.

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Lyttelton Timeball Station

2 Reserve Terrace
Canterbury
8082 New Zealand

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  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
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