Gillett & Johnston Church Clocks
England would not be England without our churches. The church steeples that show up on the horizon are historically used as markers on the landscape and where the term steeplechase comes from in horse racing. The church clock is not only a functional item but also a beautiful architectural piece that is so well loved as part of the British heritage. Gillett & Johnston (formally Gillett & Bland) have been a major force in keeping Britain’s Church Clocks ticking since 1844. The tradition of working with Church Clocks is up held today and we love the historic connection we have with our churches. Our engineers trace the footsteps of our former engineers and although some of the technology has changed since 1844 the well loved clock is always a joy to work with. Yes even the difficult ones.
An example of the type of restoration work we carry out is pictured to the right and shows a clock which has recently arrived in the works to be restored.
This clock is a Gillett & Johnston No. 3 Westminster Quarter Chimes clock originally ordered in 1889. The original catalog from this time describes the clock as follows,
“Westminster Quarter Movement of best quality, with dead-beat escapement, wood-rod pendulum, gunmetal wheels, engraved and silvered set-hands dial, steel wire lines; main wheels 12 in, 14 in and 14 in diameter for the going, striking and quarter trains respectively, all necessary weights, pulleys & co ready for fixing. This clock will strike the hours on a bell weighing 20 cwt, and chime the Westminster quarter chimes on four smaller bells, weighing together 40cwt. (60cwt in all) and drive dials up to 8ft 6in diameter. Price complete, ready for fixing, packed for export and delivered F.O.B. London £130.00”
The finished clock will resemble the picture on the left once a full restoration has been completed.