The Clock Museum

The clock museum or more accurately the clockmakers museum is a one room collection of beautiful grandfather clocks, watches and fascinating time pieces. 

I didn't know what to expect on my first visit to this tucked away gem amongst London Museums.

I knew little about the history of watchmaking and thought that a collection like this would be rather dry and only of interest to those who specialise in this field.

I was so wrong and I was very glad that I did make the effort to visit this museum.

I found myself enjoying a collection I didn't think I had a lot of interest in. I do now though and I think everyone will enjoy their time here too.

Opening Times and Admission

The clockmakers Museum, Guildhall Library,
Aldermanbury, London EC2V 7HH.

Entry is FREE

The museum is open every Mon - Saturday between 9.30am - 4.45pm (closed on bank holidays)

Please be aware that photography is not permitted.

The Collection

The collection is situated in just one room but it is laid out so well and is so inviting to walk around that I think it rivals a lot of the larger museums displays.

Although small this modern clock museum houses the collection of watches, clocks and other associated objects belonging to the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers (one of the many trade 'guilds' within the City of London).

The museum traces the changes in technology and in taste involved in watch and clock making through the years since the collection was founded in 1813.

This short video shows an example of one of the more unusual of the time pieces contained in the museum.

London was a major centre of innovation in timekeeping throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, greatly assisting the growth of the Industrial Revolution and the expansion of the British Empire (accurate timekeeping was essential for safe navigation at sea). 

Every casket in this clock museum displays objects of stunningly beautiful craftsmanship in silver, brass, glass and steel. From imposing long case 'grandfather' clocks to tiny miniature time pieces and associated objects such as watch-keys that were intricately decorated, engraved and enamelled and worn like pieces of jewellery.

One of my personal favourites is the Ramsey Nativity Watch shown here. It is a pure delight and needs some time to be spent gazing at it to fully appreciate it's intricate design and craftsmanship.

Explaining how the craft of clock making evolved in London through major events such as the Civil War, the Plague and the Great Fire, the collection is finally brought right up to date with an example of the clockwork radio invented by London based inventor Trevor Baylis.

Even those who normally have no particular interest in the subject will agree that this exceptionally well displayed collection consists of some breathtakingly beautiful and fascinating objects!

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