A museum collection that is a shade over 200 years old has moved to a new home, and been given a makeover of how the objects are displayed.

IMG_5499

The museum is the Clockmakers, and the collection is a vast array of clocks, watches and marine chronometers — ranging from a faded iron clock to the most jewel-like of constructions.

Established in 1814, the Clockmakers’ Collection is the oldest collection of clocks and watches in the world, with the majority of the 1250 timepieces dating from between c.1600 and c.1850.

It had been in the City of London for the past 130 odd years, but has now moved to the Science Museum.

It was a rather charmingly small, little known museum, but its new home is more expansive and has also been laid out, appropriately for a museum of time, in a chronological order.

IMG_5514

The display boards have been revamped, but the details are still there, as is the first fully functioning Marine Chronometer, famously designed by John Harrison.

Pocket watches abound, with their curious combination of clockmaking craftmanship and jewel like decorations.

IMG_5502

I find clocks to be an oddly affecting device, counting down the minutes of mortality, but in a very mechanical manner which fits curiously well in a society increasingly ruled by electrons whizzing around silicon, with barely a moving part to be seen.

The hours passing represented not just by how we feel the sensation of time, but a transfiguration into physical manifestation as wheels, gears and weights move to record that passage.

You can almost find yourself asking which movement creates the other.

The new layout is a bit clinical now, but that is a consequence of its new home, in a large open space in the Science Museum. For some reason, I always feel clocks belong in small gloomy spaces, ticking away in the darkness.

Invisible sentinels to times passing.

IMG_5507

The clockmakers museum is now inside the Science Museum, on the second floor.

NEWSLETTER

Be the first to know what's on in London, and the latest news published on ianVisits.

You can unsubscribe at any time from my weekly emails.

Tagged with: ,
SUPPORT THIS WEBSITE

This website has been running now for just over a decade, and while advertising revenue contributes to funding the website, but doesn't cover the costs. That is why I have set up a facility with DonorBox where you can contribute to the costs of the website and time invested in writing and research for the news articles.

It's very similar to the way The Guardian and many smaller websites are now seeking to generate an income in the face of rising costs and declining advertising.

Whether its a one-off donation or a regular giver, every additional support goes a long way to covering the running costs of this website, and keeping you regularly topped up doses of Londony news and facts.

If you like what your read on here, then please support the website here.

Thank you

2 comments
  1. June Gibson says:

    Where was it housed? Do you know why the move took place.? I agree with your last paragraph about the ambience for the display.

    • Lynda says:

      It was housed in a small, intimate and almost cozy room in the Guildhall complex in The City of London. I think the lease ran out. The new location is not as attractive but will be accessible to more visitors. It is a wonderful collection. Have you been to the British Museum to see their collection which is the most comprehensive in the world. It isn’t all on display but the gallery is very viewer friendly.

Home >> News >> Events and Tours