Very exciting progress is ongoing in the Irish Museum of Time, here in the Viking Triangle, Waterford as we get ready to open as soon as government guidelines allow. Just last week we received a gorgeous new addition to the collection, this massive brass two-train turret clock that dates to 1764 and bears the name of John Arnold of Child-Ockford, Dorset, England.
Turret clocks first emerged in the medieval period and were the first kinds of clocks seen in Ireland. They are named for the clock towers which housed them either in church bell towers or structures built specially for them. One of Ireland’s first public clocks was kept in the Tholsel in Dublin. These very early clocks didn’t even have faces and told the time by the chiming of their bells.
This clock was clearly very special due to its huge content of brass, which was then very expensive. Its back plate has the crest of the Portland family and the date 1764. The Dukes of Portland were major landowners in Dorset, and it surely was made for one of their properties.