Tel. 01273 472678
About the Authors
We have lived in Lewes in East Sussex for more than 15 years. Its position on the Greenwich Meridian has been of interest to numerous visitors over the years, it is not often that one can stand with one foot in the eastern hemisphere and one foot in the west. One day Hilda conceived the idea of walking up the entire length in England and, as there was no established route, we set about creating one.
We began in 2007 and managed to walk out half the route during that year. The following year we reached the end. In 2009 we found a publisher, the first guide book came out in 2010 and the second the following year. Book 3 came out in April 2012 and number four in December of the same year.
What we have discovered is that walking the trail was the easier part and getting the guides published was much harder work. However, the whole experience has been great fun. We have met, or been in touch with, many interesting and helpful people; discovered lots of interesting things along the way and learned a little bit about the publishing industry.
About the Greenwich Meridian
Charles II commissioned the Royal Observatory in 1675 and John Flamsteed was appointed as the first Astronomer Royal. It was his diligence in creating, over the next 40 years, the most complete set of star tables at that time, which established Greenwich as the prime observatory in the world.
By the 19th century the majority of charts for sea going trade used Greenwich as their zero degrees longitude (or prime meridian), but many countries used other longitudes. France, unsurprisingly, had their prime meridian running through Paris. It was only in 1884 that this problem of multiple meridians was finally resolved at a conference in America when Greenwich was agreed as the Prime Meridian for the world and with it came the creation of Greenwich Mean Time, from which all the world took its time.
Images: The Greenwich Meridian (top) and Flamsteed House (bottom)
at the Royal Observatory.