Ticking clocks in the East

As we wind our clocks forward in the spring and back in the autumn, spare a little thought for our house teams, who have hundreds of clocks to wind. Here are some ticking treasures to look out for at Anglesey Abbey, which has the largest collection of clocks in the East of England.

Clock on the mantlepiece

Did you know?

The word ‘clock’ comes from the Latin for ‘bell’ – ‘cloca’ – therefore only clocks with sounding mechanisms at set intervals of time are true clocks. A silent clock without striking mechanisms should really be referred to as a ‘timepiece’.

Anglesey Abbey's clock collection
Lord Fairhaven's Pagoda Clock

Pagoda clock, Anglesey Abbey 

This clock measures over 3ft in height and gained its name because it's the shape of a Chinese pagoda. Built in London by James Cox in the early 1770s, it was exported to Beijing before finding its way back to Anglesey Abbey, where Lord Fairhaven was rather a fan of collecting clocks. This one features mechanical plants with petals that open up when the clock chimes.

The mantel clock at Anglesey Abbey

Mantel clock, Anglesey Abbey 

A meticulous time keeper, Lord Fairhaven had a love of horology and collected one of the biggest clock collections now in the care of the National Trust. Another striking clock in his collection is this 8-day French striking mantel clock, which dates back to 1880 and has a bronze bull carrying the clock face.

Miniature clock on a desk at Anglesey Abbey

Miniature clock, Anglesey Abbey 

Even the smaller clocks in our collection are special, like this French miniature clock in a silver case. Standing on a small square malachite covered base, this clock is engraved with Lord Fairhaven’s name on the outside door.

Striking sunburst clock

Ormolu clock, Anglesey Abbey 

This lyre-shaped clock was made by the Frenchman, Ferdinand Berthold. It has a striking sunburst pendulum and is made of Ormolu, which is a term that’s been used since the 18th century, for the gilding technique of applying finely ground gold to a bronze object.

Explore our collections

The majority of objects in our care are recorded on our National Trust Collections website. You'll find many intriguing items to explore at places near you