Places of Interest nearby
Location address: United Kingdom, Greenwich
Number of texts: 3
The museum displays four by John Harrison developed marine chronometers. These were used to calculate the longitude while travelling over the sea. Comparing the local time with the time on the chronometer with the time from ‘home’ or a reference point, allowed the travellers to calcaulted the longitude on Earth.
Until 1760, there were no accurate clocks who could travel over sea. In 1707, a large part of the English fleet had been wrecked on a reef. This triggered the Admiralty. They promissed a reward of £ 20,000 for a more reliable chronometer. In 1736, the unknown watchmaker John Harrison created Timekeeper No. 1. The clock was about one meter high and weighed 36 kg. The Admiralty found the monster too big and clumsy. So the brilliant Harrison built in 1760 a new one.
Eleven years later the chronometer was proven at sea and Harrison received the promised £ 20,000.
Linked groups: Guide for mappers
The Royal Observatory, Greenwich (formerly the Royal Greenwich Observatory or RGO), in London played a major role in the history of astronomy and navigation, and is best known as the location of the prime meridian. It is situated on a hill in Greenwich Park, overlooking the River Thames.
On a hill stands the more than 200 years old Royal Observatory, which was created to study navigation at sea. The famous prime meridian runs through the garden of the observatory. A copper line on the ground marks the meridian.