One o'Clock Gun




The One O'Clock Gun is fired from Edinburgh Castle daily, except Sundays, Good Friday and Christmas Day.  The gun is also used to fire '21 gun salutes' several times a year.

Postcard  -  One o' Clock Gun at Edinburgh Castle ©

2011 - Anniversary

Here are a couple of photos taken at the first of the ceremonies held in 2011 to mark the 150th anniversary of the first firing of the gun - the laying of a wreath at Greyfriars' Bobby's gravestone - organised by the One O'Clock Gun Association and Time Ball Association.

Laying a Wreath at Greyfriars Bobby's Tombstone ©

Greyfriars' Bobby's Bar

The Army brought a field gun from Colinton to stand in front of Greyfriars' Bobby's Bar at the top of Candlemaker Row during the above ceremony.

 Field Gun and Guard of Honour outside Greyfriars' Bobby's Bar for the ceremony to Greyfriars' Bobby in Greyfriars' Churchyard ©

The field gun in this photo looks similar to the gun now used (in 2011) to fire the One o' Clock Gun, a 105mm field gun fired from Mills Mount Battery (beside the Café in Edinburgh Castle0 by the District Gunner.

The One o' Clock gun was first fired on June 7, 1861.  It was originally a 64-pounder mounted on Half Moon Battery.



George T Smith

Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Thank you to George T Smith who read the comments above about the gun in 1861 and wrote:


"A 64-pounder would have been a pretty big gun even for a muzzle loader  .I wish I had seen it;  must have looked a bit like Mons Meg.

The gun in use when I last remember it was a 25-pounder. field howitzer.  It that was a 'between the wars' field piece used by the field artillery until, I think, the 1960's."

George T Smith, Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada



or perhaps not quite recollections!

Peter Stubbs


If the 64-pounder that George refers to was impressive in 1861, Mons Meg must have really been impressive when fired from Edinburgh Castle about three hundred years earlier.

Postcard by Alex A Inglis  -  Edinburgh Castle, St Margaret's Chapel  -  The oldest building in Edinburgh Castle and Mons Meg, the C15 Siege Gun ©

Mons Meg had 20 ins calibre to take cannon balls weighing 400 lbsWikipedia

Here is an account of a firing of Mons Meg in 1558, taken from the book, Old & New Edinburgh, published in 1890:


Mons Meg

Mons Meg  -  The C15 siege gun at Edinburgh Castle ©

"Wardie Muir must once have been a wide open and desolate space, extending from Inverleith and Warriston to the shore of the Firth; and from North Inverleith Mains, of the old called Blaw Wearie, on the west to Bonnington on the east, traversed by the narrow streamlet known as Anchorfield Burn.

Now it is intersected by streets and roads, studied with fine villas rich in gardens and teeming with fertility;  but how waste and desolate the muirland must once have been is evidenced by those entries in the accounts of the Lord High Treasurer of Scotland, with reference to firing Mons Meg in the days when royal salutes were sometimes fired with shotted gun!

On the 3rd of July, 1558, when the Castle batteries saluted in honour of the Dauphin's marriage with Queen Mary, Mons Meg was fired by the express desire of the Queen Regent;  the pioneers were paid for

'their laboris in mounting Meg furth of her lair to be schote, and for finding and carrying her bullet from Wardie Muir to the Castell'

ten shillings Scots.

Wardie is fully two miles north from the Castle and near Granton."

Old & New Edinburgh, Vol 3, Chapter XXXVI, P.306, Wardie, Trinity & Granton


Recollections  -  One O'Clock Gun

Edinburgh Castle