HIDDEN HIGH STREET HISTORIES
A POINT IN TIME
The 'Leaning' Clock
The Guildhall in Chard was built between December 1834 and September 1835.
Designed by Taunton architect Richard Carver, it replaced the old building which jutted out into Fore Street, restricting traffic flow through the town. The building originally incorporated a Town Hall, market house and a butchery. It was all costed at over £3000.
Installed in 1837 to celebrate the accession to the throne of Queen Victoria. The clock was made by J.P.Payne of Bloomsbury and installed by the local firm of Reuben and John Lemude.
The cast iron frame is of a side by side ‘birdcage’ construction and was originally lit by gas. The clock has three trains, a time keeping train, an hour striking train and a “ting-tang” quarter chiming train fitted with an electronically operated device to prevent it chiming the quarters at night.
In 1998, the machinery powering the clock dials was removed and restored by a local expert, Peter Watkinson. The 200-kilo machinery was dismantled and transported back to the Guildhall before being reassembled in its original position. In 1974, the bells were recast by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry.
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