Harrison Memorial Unveiled
Tuesday, 28th March 2006
John Harrison, the 18th century clockmaker, whose revolutionary precision watch allowed sailors to calculate their ships' longitude, is now honoured with a memorial stone which was unveiled in the Nave by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.
The project to lay a stone to the memory of Harrison who died in 1776, was steered through by the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers and by the former Astronomer Royal Sir Arnold Wolfendale.
The granite stone, which has a precisely-measured longitude line of two metals running through it, lies next to a tomb which contains the bodies of two fellow clockmakers Thomas Tompion and George Graham.
Over 650 horologists from all over the world packed the Nave to hear Diana Uff, Deputy Master of the Clockmakers' Company, praise Harrison's invention for "saving very many lives and livelihoods and making possible reliable navigation throughout the globe."
The Duke also visited an exhibition in Jerusalem Chamber which featured one of John Harrison's clocks - now valued at over £1 million.
The unveiling ceremony was conducted by the Sub-Dean, Canon Robert Wright. The Brass Ensemble of the Band of the Royal Marines from HM Naval College, Dartmouth, played a selection of music and accompanied the hymns.