The Timeball Tower, Deal

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Learn about signalling and time keeping, life in the Royal Navy and smuggling from the four floors of exhibits housed in this iconic Grade II listed tower.

Until 1927, the timeball on the tower was linked to the Royal Observatory at Greenwich by electric telegraph wires. At 1pm a signal was sent to all timeball towers to synchronise the drop of the ball. Ships anchored off Deal could then synchronise their chronometers, essential for navigation.

Today, the Timeball Is programmed to drop every day at 1pm. Additionally, during the summer season the ball drops hourly from 9am to 5pm. The Timeball also drops at midnight on New Years’ Eve.

Previously the tower had been used to send information to other stations along the Kent and Sussex coast by semaphore signal as part of the coastal smuggling blockade, before which a shutter telegraph station stood on the site.

  • Opening hours:
    • May: Sat & Sun, 11:30am-4:30pm
    • June to September: Wed to Sun, plus BHs, 11:30am-4:30pm
  • Cost: Adult £3, Children & Students £2, under 5s free
  • Telephone: 01304 362444
  • Website: www.dealtimeball.co.uk
  • Facebook: Deal-Timeball-Tower
  • Twitter: @DealTimeball

Prince of Wales Terrace, Deal, Kent, CT14 7BP