Posted Frame Clock

Posted Frame Clock- click to enlarge This clock was in the bell tower for many years. It was made by Henry Weight in 1859 or rather we suspect he assembled it. It is unlikely that he cast it himself, but ordered the frame from a foundry and the works from a specialist clock maker. This was apparently quite common practice then, not only with clocks but other items, for example we have a pistol emblazoned with the seller’s name and Malmesbury but it was made elsewhere.

The clock originally had two faces, east and north. The pendulum is big, over 3m (10 foot) long and weighing about 50 kg+ (120lbs). It took three and a third seconds for it to sweep across and back again.

The weights were substantial; the weights are not recorded but we suspect the largest would have been at least 150 kg. The clock was wound weekly and at the same time an adjustment made by physically turning the hands with a special key. The clock has a dial facing inwards so the winder could see what time the clock told. As it is directly connected it tells the time in reverse and rotates counter-clockwise. So the winder had to be mentally adept as well as physically strong.

Volunteers with clock mechanismIn 1951 this clock was replaced with a modern one with automatic winding and striking to take advantage of the recently installed full peal of bells. After this the clock was dismantled and transferred to the museum. RAF at Hullavington kindly cleaned repaired and painted the frame and mechanism and then it was reassembled. Moving it is a problem as the whole clock is estimated to weigh 200kg (4cwt) but it can be done.

After many years the limitations of space within the refurbished museum meant it could no longer be displayed here. It has been returned to the bell tower and can be seen there by appointment.