Saturday, March 19, 2016

The Clocks of Willowbrook, Part 1...

This is the first in a series of posts exhibiting our collection of clocks, and we are going to start with the long case clock which stands inside the foyer. 

The clock was purchased in 1990 from Colin Bent of Albion Clocks in London, but dates back to 1740, coincidentally the same year the Royal London Hospital was opened.

It is a 'Country' long case clock, meaning that it only has an hour hand and only strikes the hours. This is because it was intended for listening to, rather than looking at. It was made in 1740 by Humphrey White of Fairford in Gloucestershire. 

From what we can tell from a variety of historical sources and registers, Humphrey White was the son of Thomas White (born 1677 - 1748). Thomas White had been an apprentice of Thomas Tompion, who is considered the father of English clock-making (famous amongst other things for creating the two very long pendulum clocks for the royal observatory for Charles II, which only required winding once a year and were accurate enough for performing astronomical calculations). 

Humphrey must have started working in the family business as he grew up, taking over it before 1740 (8 years before his father passed away). The Whites, along with another clock-maker Richard Honeybone, provided clocks to most of the Cotswold area. Fairford clocks are still very sought after today in the Cotswolds. There is an auction of one of Thomas White's clocks this month. How wonderful it would be to reunite father and son's work after all this time!

Above: The restrained style of the Georgian Country Clock standing in the foyer.

Below: A close up of the face showing the manufacturer's name.

Below: The full clock face with single iron hour hand and wonderful brass spandrels.

Below: The weights and pendulum.
It has a wonderful sonorous bell...

The next post of the series will exhibit the long-case clock on the landing upstairs. Join us then.


  1. I always say a house isn't a home until there are clocks ticking. I guess it comes from growing up surrounded by them -my dad is a collector. We recently had our mantelpiece clock restored & cleaned which has the loveliest chimes - makes it feel like home!

  2. Hello Lord Cowell,
    It is a very handsome piece! I love the finish and the detail in the face is lovely.
    Big hug


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...