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By: Gerry De Vries, 1 September 2010
The Noon Gun in Cape Town
The Blomefield pattern as designed and later developed by Maj. Gen. Sir Thomas Blomefield who was appointed Inspector of Artillery at Woolwich in 1780. This pattern of guns, in its various calibres, became the backbone of naval ordnance and coastal defence for the British forces between 1790 and the appearance of rifled ordnance in C.1850.
Many Blomefield guns were still in service in 1900. Recognition features are the presence of a breeching ring above the button, a relatively rounded and smooth cascable, a small dispart patch on top of the base of the chase and three rings of equal size forming the muzzle face. The weight markings are most often found on the bottom of the back of the cascable and in the form of 42 – 1 – 9, meaning 42 CWT, 1× ¼ CWT and 9 lbs. (One CWT = 112 lbs).
Cape Town’s famous Noon Gun is a Blomefield pattern 18 pounder which has been firing the noon shot of 1,3 kg of gunpowder every day except Sundays since 1806. The Noon Gun is the oldest cannon in daily use in the world.
The Blomefield pattern Noon Gun in Cape Town doing its noisy thing.