This film is part of Free

Greenwich Clock and Observatory

Tick-tock, tick-tock...the home of British time-keeping at Greenwich.

Non-Fiction 1928 1 mins Silent


A treat for horology fans, this short film showcases one of the most important clocks ever made - the Shepherd Gate Clock, mounted outside London's Royal Greenwich Observatory. An integral part of Britain's time system, the clock was also the first to display Greenwich Mean Time to the public. A pan of the beautiful Observatory buildings, overlooking Greenwich Park, reveals the clock in situ.

Installed by Charles Shepherd in 1852, the Shepherd Gate Clock is an early example of an electric slave clock, controlled by electric pulses transmitted from a master clock inside the building. The time observed by the Shepherd master clock was instrumental in establishing a standardised time system across Britain. The clock remains something of a tourist attraction today, as it was when this film was made - notice the healthy crowd of visitors outside the Observatory. Digitisation supported by the London Topographical Society.