Britain's Most Prestigious Clocks
TITLE IMAGE - WATERLOO STATION CLOCK, LONDON.
In recent years there has been a trend for buying very large house clocks in the U.K.
People now sport clocks the size of bicycle wheels upon the walls of their tiny semis and apartments.
Due to this big clock phenomena sweeping the country, I thought it may be fun to show you some of Britain's really BIG clocks, those that are found all over the land atop churches, cathedrals, railway stations and in town squares, all of which are considered to be some of Britain's most prestigious clocks.
BRITAIN'S MOST FAMOUS CLOCKFACE.
Well this one needs no introductions really, we all know what and where it is, but here goes anyway.
Britain's most famous clock is also the world's most famous clock, the clock face atop the Palace of Westminster, AKA the Houses of Parliament in the city of Westminster, London.
Wrongly called Big Ben by everyone on the planet (including the British), the clock face situated on the clock tower of the Palace of Westminster has been wrongly entitled since first gracing it's Thameside locale in 1859.
Each of the four clock faces are 23 feet in diameter with each Roman numeral 2 feet long and spaced one foot apart,The copper minute hands are 14 foot long and the gun metal hour hands are nine feet long. making this clockface the largest chiming clock face in the world and the 17th largest clock face ( by size) in the world.
However for all of us that misname the most famous clock in the world, we can be forgiven, as the world reknown chimes that we are all so familiar with is made by the sound of the great bell housed behind this giant clockface known as Big Ben, which means we are infact correct as the sound we are hearing are the chimes of Big Ben.
BRITAIN'S LARGEST CLOCKFACE.
Now here's a surprise, you all thought that this category had been dealt with by way of the Palace of Westminster clockface.
Shock horror, Big Ben is not the largest clock face in the land, that honour actually goes to the clock face atop the Royal Liver Building in Liverpool.
Britain's largest clock face - there are four of them actually, three positioned onto the 295 feet high clock tower that overlooks the River Mersey and one located on the clocktower that overlooks the opposite street - have massive dials of 25 feet in diameter with 14 foot long minute hands.
Manufactured and produced by Leicestershire clockmakers Gents, they are the world's 16th largest clockface and the largest in Great Britain.
These four huge clockfaces have graced Liverpool's skyline since 1911 and were made this size in order that passing ships could tell the time as they sailed into the Port of Liverpool.
BRITAIN'S OLDEST CLOCK.
The honourable title of oldest and still fully functioning clock in the country goes to the clockface on the north transept of Wells Cathedral in Somerset.
The clockface dates to between 1386 and 1392, although the original workings of the astronomical timepiece have now been removed to the Science Museum in London, they are still in working order.
BRITAIN'S BIGGEST RAILWAY STATION CLOCK.
Most of Britains two thousand plus railway stations are graced by a large clock, but there seems to be no research into which one is the largest.
Many of these clocks are between 5 and 6 feet in diameter, but the majority of them are now modern electric clocks, with few of the original 19th century mechanical clocks still remaining.
One station that does still sport it's original J.B Joyce of Whitchurch clock, is Liverpool's Lime Street station.
This massive dial is situated high up on the wall of the station's main concourse and features Roman numerals and an ornamental gilded surround.
BRITAIN'S TALLEST TOWN SQUARE CLOCK.
There does not seem to be a clock in Britain that holds the distinction of being the largest town square clock, but if there was, this one in Tredegar, Monmouthshire, Wales would certainly be a likely contender.
Standing an impressive 72 feet high and made entirely from cast iron, the illuminated, striking clock was presented to the town by ironfoundry owner's wife, Mrs R.P Davis in 1858.
The four dials manufactured by J.B Joyce of Whitchurch, Shropshire, are a whopping 5 foot 3 inches in diameter with 2 foot 2 inch long minute hands and 1 foot 7 inch long hour hands.
BRITAIN'S MOST IMPORTANT CLOCK.
All clocks are important I know, but there is one here in Britain that is of particular importance, not just to the British, but to each and everyone of us throughout the world.
The clock at Greenwich in London AKA the Greenwich Meridian Clock, is the clock that sets the time for the world's timezones.
Situated at the Greenwich Observatory, at the UNESCO site of the Royal London Borough of Greenwich, the United Kingdom has been home to the Prime Meridian since an international agreement in 1884.
And this is it the most important timepiece in the world, the Greenwich Meantime ( GMT) Chronometer.
BRITAIN'S MOST ORNATE CLOCK.
The Eastgate Tower clock situated in the country's finest Roman walled city of Chester has graced the city since 1897, when it was built in order to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria.
The impressive clock, built into the walkway along Chester Walls above the city's Eastgate entrance is. cuboid in shape and made from cast iron with a wrought iron fretwork surround depicting lions rampant,a cupola and weather vane.
The clock was designed by Chester architect John Douglas and the clock mechanism by J.B Joyce of Whitchurch.
The bright red clockface surround and it's heavy giltwork is unusual for a clock so large, as is it's height which completely dominates the upper arch of the ancient stone walled gateway.
BRITAIN'S THIRD LARGEST CLOCKFACE.
Not only does this fine timepiece rate as the third largest in the land, it is encased at one of London's finest Art Deco buildings.
The Shell Mex House, is a 12 storey building that towers 190 feet above London's Strand.
This beautiful Art Deco period building constructed in 1930 houses London's second largest clockface and Great Britain's third largest clockface, and is known as Big Benzene, after the Shell oil company who were first to have the building and the clock, commissioned.
The clockface is actually situated at the back of the building and does not look out along the Strand, but overlooks the River Thames.