One O'Clock Gun

The One O'Clock Gun is a naval cannon that stands outside the City Hall of Pietermaritzburg. Its name hails back to the time when it was fired every day, bar Sundays

KwaZulu Natal Tourist AttractionsThe One O'Clock Gun

The One O'Clock Gun is a naval cannon that stands outside the City Hall of Pietermaritzburg. Its name hails back to the time when it was fired every day, bar Sundays, at one o'clock to announce the arrival of the post from Durban.

Where? The One O'Clock Gun stands outside the City Hall, Chief Albert Luthuli Street, Pietermaritzburg, 3201, KwaZulu Natal

When? Best during daylight hours.

Overnight? See Pietermaritzburg accommodation, in Natal Midlands

The 5.5kg naval gun is said to have arrived at its location in 1901, and remains a prominent landmark of the city of Pietermaritzburg.

The beautiful Victorian City Hall lies right in the heart of Pietermaritzburg, a national monument said to be the largest brick building in the southern hemisphere. Other than its magnificent bell tower, it also has gorgeous stained glass and an enormous pipe organ. For this reason it is used for various concerts and exhibitions.

Together with the One O'Clock Gun, and other historical buildings in the vicinity, it is well worth a visit. Interestingly there is a One O'Clock Gun Association in Edinburgh, where they too have a one o'clock gun set up at Edinburgh Castle. It has been there since 1861 and continues to function as a daily time signal, fired every day at 13:00 precisely, except on Sundays, Good Friday and Christmas Day. It originally functioned as a time signal for ships in the Firth of Forth, the estuary of Scotland's River Forth.

There are a number of similar time guns thoughout the world, such as the Cape Town Noon Day Gun. They include time guns in Sydney, Ottawa, Hong Kong, St Petersburg, Montreal and Vladivostock. Pietermaritzburg's One O'Clock Gun does not appear on the list of World Time Guns, but this may be because it is no longer fired on a daily basis.

Popular Attractions near One O'Clock Gun

Alexandra Park

Alexandra Park is one of the green belts which contributes to Pietermaritzburg’s reputation as “The Garden City”. The park was established in 1863 and named after Queen Alexandra, wife of Edward VII. The 85 hectare park is bounded by...

More info and contact details: Alexandra Park

Pietermaritzburg Botanical Gardens

One of ten national botanical gardens, Pietermaritzburg's Botanical Gardens occupy an ancient floodplain and hillside on the edge of a mist belt that creates an atmosphere, on days when the mists roll in, something like that of a...

More info and contact details: Pietermaritzburg Botanical Gardens

Old Colonial Building

Part of Pietermaritzburg’s colonial history lies in the proud Old Colonial Building, which has stood on Church Street since 1899. The colonnaded front facade was completed in 1901 and was home to various government offices over the years...

More info and contact details: Old Colonial Building

Did you know?

In 1879, during the Zulu War, the One O'Clock Gun was brought out of retirement to help defend the town of Pietermaritzburg. In 1901 it was transferred to its present site opposite City Hall, where it has stood ever since.

©Unauthorised use of the
photos is strictly prohibited. has been assisting travellers with their South African holiday plans since 1999, and is the largest online travel guide for South Africa available in both English and German. © All Rights Reserved. Find and book hotels and accommodation in South Africa. Sitemap