The Timeball Station in Lyttelton, Christchurch New Zealand, was one of only five in the world known to be still in working order.
It was constructed in 1876 and from 1876 to 1934 a ball dropped from its mast on its stone tower, signalling the time to ships in Lyttelton Harbour.
This rare piece of maritime history, cared for by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga had been fabulously restored.
Already damaged by an earthquake centred under Darfield in Canterbury on Saturday 4 September 2010, a large earthquake on Tuesday 22 February caused significant damage to this historic building. On 4 March 2010 Heritage New Zealand announced that the building would be dismantled. While work was underway to dismantle the building, earthquakes on Monday 13 June 2011 caused the collapse of the Timeball Station’s tower. Following a seven-year project the Timeball tower, timeball and flagpole were returned to the site in 2018, with interpretation panels telling the story of the Station.
The foundations are all that remain of the much more substantial building that before September 2011.
Near the timeball tower, you can see the concrete and brick footings that help us to ‘read’ the building’s floor plan and its various additions over the years.
Access is free to this wonderful part of history restored for the benefit of all to come and see, it also offers a great view of the habour with seating available to sit and contemplate on a nice day.