Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Clockmaker's Museum

One of the first things that popped into my head when walking into this museum was this place would be Captain Hook's worst nightmare. My second thought was: this is so cool!
Every part of the one-room Clockmakers' Museum located at Guildhall was occupied with clocks of all sorts. From the impressive Grandfather clocks to the tiniest personal watch and the most magnificently detailed and decorated watches. Almost all were still working, impressive considering their ages, and the room was filled with the gentle ticking of all of the clocks.
I never knew quite so much about the history of clocks, or even (I am shamed to admit) thought about it that much. The musem followed the beginning of the clockmaking trade in England during the time of Henry VIII all the way through today's clockmakers and time device trade, with plenty of examples laid out for your inspection. It included the race for the perfect method of finding longitude, solved by John Harrison's fourth and fifth marine timekeepers, proudly displaying the fifth one, which is the pride and joy of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers (the English guild who sponsor the museum). The first through fourth marine timekeepers of John Harrison are considered as belonging to the country, and are kept by a larger museum. The museum includes the ebb and flow of the English clock trade, from the devastations of plague and the Great London Fire to the more modern plague of industrialization. For each and every step of the way, there are at least half a dozen specimens on exhibit to show the art of the clockmaker. I can garauntee that you will never look at your wristwatch in the same way again after spending time in the Clockmaker's Museum.
Image from Microsoft ClipArt


  1. This sounds like a neat museum to visit. I love the reference to Peter Pan and Captain Hook!

    Andy Thomas

  2. Thanks, it's something that just popped in my head in the first few minutes of hearing all the tick-tocking :)