Noon Gun, Cape Town

By Lesley on 9 January 2017

Noon Gun, Cape Town

Explaining the history of the Canons

At Lion Battery, on the slopes of Signal Hill, the oldest SBML guns in the world are fired daily at 12 noon (except Sundays and public holidays).

It is best to arrive around 11.30am so that you can leisurely enjoy the views of the stadium, city and Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, until the gentleman arrives around 11.45am and offers a brief history of the Noon Gun and loads the canon which will be fired the following day.

Number of canon firings today

When you arrive at the top, take a quick note of the sign giving you the date and the number of firings since 1806.  I was last there on January 7, 2017 for canon firing 66,089.

These two canons are 18 pounder Smooth Bore Muzzle Loading canons and date back to 1794 in England and brought to the Cape in 1795 during the first British occupation.  These canons were probably used during the Battle of Muizenberg on August 7, 1795 and then installed at the Imhoff Battery at the Castle when the British left in 1803.  When the British returned in 1806, the canons were fired daily and then as the population of Cape Town grew, moved to their current site on August 4, 1902.

Loading the spare canon to be fired on the following day

Today the canon is fired through an automated line and the gentlemen allows guests plenty of time to move further away and put their fingers in their ears.

Waiting for the canon firing

For those wanting their canon firing photos we stood patiently to the side of the canon, while the crowd does the count down like New Years Eve

Boom, 12pm Noon

The gentleman stays around after the firing in case visitors have some further questions on the Noon Gun

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