Friday, December 25, 2015

Picture Day Friday: Oldest Working Clock

The oldest working clock is housed at the Salisbury Cathedral in England.

Johannes Vriemand, Williemus Vriemand, and Johannes Jietuijt from Delft were invited to England by Edward III to construct the clock in c. 1386. The clock was originally set up in a detached bell tower north of the cathedral. When that tower was destroyed, the working clock was moved to the cathedral tower until 1792, at which point it was decommissioned. It was re-discovered in 1929 and moved to the north transept in 1931. However, it was not in a working condition. Finally in 1956, the clock was completely repaired and restored to its original condition by Messrs. John Smith and Co. of Derby along with antiquarian horologists T.R. Robinson and R.P. Howgrave-Graham. The now-working clock was moved to its present location at the triforium level in the south transept.

According to the Salisbury Cathedral notes: "As is usual of the period, the clock has no face, being designed only to strike hours." The clock is a 12-hour clock and has to be wound up every 24 hours. The bell hammer is supposed to be connected to a bell but is disconnected these days due to the noise it makes.

[Image copyrighted by the Salisbury Cathedral.]