Located on Calton Hill in Edinburgh is the Nelson Monument, commemorating the victory of the British Fleet over the French and Spanish Fleets and the death of Admiral Lord Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
The 106 foot monument is built to resemble an upside down telescope. One hundred and forty-three steps have to be climbed to reach the top of the tower. It is built on the highest section of the hill and was designed to be viewed by ships on the Firth of Forth. The architect was Robert Burn (1752-1815). The Nelson Monument replaced a signalling mast previously on the sight. A mast stands at the top of the monument and the famous Trafalgar flag signal 'England expects that every man
will do his duty' is flown each year to mark Trafalgar Day (21st October).
Planning for the monument began a month after the death of Lord Nelson. The foundation stone for the monument was laid in 1807 and the main tower was built by 1808. Then the money for the project ran out. Work again began on the project in 1814 and was completed in 1815.
In 1852 a time ball was added to help ship captains reset their chronometers each day. This is dropped at 1 o'clock each afternoon. As the time-ball could not always be seen if the weather was foggy, a cannon at Edinburgh Castle was fired at the same time. The time-ball is still dropped at 1.00 pm six days a week.
Nelson Monument - Calton Hill architecture
Battle of Trafalgar - BBC History
Battle of Trafalgar - History Channel