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St. Mary`s Clock

It is thought that a church clock has been measuring the passing of the hours for villagers for at least two centuries, and possibly longer.

Today the church has not one but two clocks -- the modern and the old.

The modern clock, with its blue and gold dial, was installed several years ago to replace the existing mechanism. The modern clock has an electric mechanism and strikes the hours on one of the Church's five bells. Fortunately for the sleepers of the parish the striking mechanism is turned off at night!

The original clock mechanism has now been moved to the ground level of the church at the west end of the nave where it awaits restoration.

Neil Birdsall, writing in the 1979 Quinquennial (five yearly) Inspection Report on the church, highlighted some of the interesting features of the old mechanism:

"The clock itself stands on timber clock horse and is of a curious design, probably made by a local smith. It consists of a timber birdcage frame with the two trains, that is the going and the striking trains being in tandem behind each other with their cable drums in line...

"It is an interesting machine and although probably made locally and not the work of the great clock makers, it is none the worse for that...

I would imagine it may well date from the mid-18th century, though it could be that one or two of the parts are considerably older and almost certainly some of them are Victorian or perhaps earlier still."


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