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Ministry of Defence Chronometer Department, Herstmonceux, Papers, c.1872-1876, 1924, 1927, 1937, 1939-1948, and c.1954-1983 (bulk) , 1924 - 1937, bulk: 1954 - 1983

Reference Code: GBR/0180/RGO 71/1

Scope and Contents

Most of the records retained by the Chronometer Department date to the Herstmonceux era and relate to the service, repair and overhaul of Admiralty owned chronometers at the workshop there. Many of the files bear ‘Chronometer Laboratory’ file series numbers 38 or 39 and have been grouped accordingly. A series of photographs (series 4) includes images of H1, H4 and Kendall 1 and 2, along with two sets of photographs showing the Chronometer Department and staff at Bradford on Avon during the Second World War, and later, at Herstmonceux . A notable legacy item in the collection is an early handwritten manuscript titled 'Concerning the clock', [c.1870s?] catalogued at RGO 71/1/3/1.


  • Creation: c.1872-1876, 1924, 1927, 1937, 1939-1948, and c.1954-1983 (bulk)
  • Creation: 1924 - 1937
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1954 - 1983


Conditions Governing Access

From the Management Group:

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (


4 archive box(es) : Paper and photographs

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Records generated by the Chronometer Department at Herstmonceux Castle.


For a personal history of the Chronometer Section: 1914-1981 by William Roseman, see

Further information on the history of the Chronometer Department can be found here:


Catalogued by Dr Emma Saunders, October 2021.


Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
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Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom