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Changing the time on Britain’s most prestigious clocks

This weekend sees the beginning of British Summer Time (BST), which was first established by the Summer Time Act of 1916 and we move forward to GMT +1. As every British household gets set to change the multitude of clocks around the house, we spare a thought for those tasked with winding forward some of the most prestigious clocks around Britain.

 Big Ben

The world’s most famous clock is the responsibility of the Clockmakers at the Palace of Westminster  – who have 2000 clocks to change throughout the Place and parliamentary buildings! Changing the time on Big Ben is not a simple process. It involves careful precision and split-second timing from the Clockmakers.

Take a look at the process here and watch this fascinating video…

Royal Liver Building Liverpool 

The clocks at the top of the Royal Liver building, Great George, are the largest clock faces in Britain. There are four of them positioned on the 295 feet high clock tower overlooking the River Mersey – with huge dials of 25 feet in diameter and 14-foot long minute hands! They are the world’s 16th largest clockfaces and were put in motion on 22nd June 1911, the precise moment that King George was crowned!

Britains Oldest Clock

The oldest still fully-functioning clock in Britain is the clock on the north transept of Wells Cathedral in Somerset. An astronomical clock, it dates back to between 1386 and 1392.

The Eastgate Tower Clock 

Situated in the Roman walled city of Chester and built to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria, this impressive clock is built into the walkway along Chester Walls, above the city’s Eastgate entrance.  It is said to be the most photographed clock in Britain, after Big Ben.

Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower, University of Birmingham 

Otherwise know as “Old Joe”, this is the tallest freestanding clock tower in the World at 100 metres! Built to commemorate Joseph Chamberlain, the first Chancellor of the University, it was completed in 1908.

More famous clocks from around the World…

Philadelphia City Hall in Philadelphia, US held the title of the tallest building in the world from 1901 to 1908 and has four clocks which are 8 meters in diameter.

Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel, Mecca, Saudi Arabia is the tallest clock tower and largest clock face in the World!

The Prague Astronomical Clock, Prague, Czech Republic attracts many tourists, who watch the famous moving figures of the beautiful clock. I watched this myself in a snowy January many years ago and it is lovely to see. Hard to believe that the clock was first installed in the year 1410!

Rathaus-Glockenspiel, Munich, Germany is a famous tourist attraction, built in 1908. It has 48 Bells and 32 life-sized figures who re-enact two stories from the 16th Century.

The Savious Tower, Moscow, Russia in Red Square was designed in 1491 and installed in 1625 and is part of the Kremlin walls.

Back to everyone in the UK… remember to put your clocks forward and enjoy the extra hours of sunshine!

2 thoughts on “Changing the time on Britain’s most prestigious clocks”

  1. I guess I hadn’t realized Britain has the same silly time chanes as we do here in the US. Greenwich Mean Time is the only stable time there is!

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