Harrison's Garden

Luke Jerram arranging clocks for the Harrison's Garden installation

Nostell looks after one of the first longcase clocks made by the famous inventor, John Harrison. To celebrate the 300th birthday of this ticking treasure we're hosting ‘Harrison’s Garden’, a contemporary art installation of 2,000 clocks...

...and we need to collect 500! Can you help? 

We're asking the local community to donate their own ticking treasures to star in Harrison's Garden. Clocks and watches of any colour, size and age are welcome, whether it’s a quirky timepiece you found in the local junk shop or an old family favourite with an interesting story. 

It can be working or broken and it doesn't have to be an antique...we're looking for ordinary clocks and watches to create an extraordinary artwork. You can find FAQ's here or call 01924 866742 if you've any questions.

How to donate

You can drop your clock or watch off on any day until Sunday 26 February at:

  • Nostell ticket office, 10am - 4pm
  • Wakefield Cathedral (please check opening times in advance)
  • National Coal Mining Museum for England (please check opening times in advance)

Or bring your clock or watch to one of our touring 'clock stop' events and chat to our team about the Harrison's Garden installation on:

  • Monday 13 February, 11am – 3.00pm at National Coal Mining Museum for England
  • Tuesday 14 Febuary, 11am – 3.00pm at Yorkshire Sculpture Park
  • Thursday 16 February, 10am - 12pm and 1 - 3pm at Wakefield Cathedral
  • Friday 17 - Sunday 19 February, 10am - 4pm at Wakefield Festival of Food, Drink and Rhubarb (TBC)

Don't forget to join in the Harrison’s Garden story on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @NostellNT #HarrisonsGarden.

Enjoy a spectacle for the eyes and ears

Harrison's Garden, inspired by Yorkshire's greatest clockmaker, will be open from Saturday 25 March until Sunday 9 July 2017. The artist Luke Jerram will arrange all 2,000 clocks and watches to form patterns and shapes, with each one set to a different time so that you’ll hear a musical delight of ticking, clicking and chiming all through the day. Here's a taster of what to expect:

A fitting place for Harrison’s Garden

Did you know John Harrison lived at Nostell? Born here in 1693, he was the son of the estate carpenter and developed his love for clocks and engineering from a young age. He’s known today as one of England’s greatest inventors for creating the marine chronometer, which made it possible to tell the time at sea. With no formal education, he spent his earlier years crafting clocks entirely from wood and Nostell now looks after one of his three surviving early longcase clocks, created in 1717.

The John Harrison clock at Nostell is one of only three surviving longcase clocks of its kind
John Harrison clock at Nostell

To celebrate the significant birthday of this extraordinary piece of craftsmanship, Harrison’s Garden will start a year of special 'Clock Work' events at Nostell to tell the story of Harrison and his timekeeping creations. Keep an eye on the what's on page for details coming soon.

The ticking tour

Harrison’s Garden is part of Trust New Art, the National Trust’s contemporary arts programme which invites visitors to experience our places from a different perspective. After opening at Nostell, Harrison’s Garden will then appear at Castle Drogo in Devon, Gunby Hall in Lincolnshire and Penrhyn Castle in Wales, with each place adding 500 more clocks to the total.

Love contemporary art? Head to the Trust New Art website to see all upcoming installations, exhibitions and events.

Luke Jerram

Luke Jerram’s multidisciplinary practice involves the creation of sculptures, installations and live arts projects. Living in the UK but working internationally for 19 years, Jerram has created a number of extraordinary art projects which have excited and inspired people around the globe. Find out more at www.lukejerram.com 

Harrison’s Garden was originally commissioned by Connect! and presented over 5 days at the Thelma Hulbert Gallery in 2015. This initial installation displayed 1,000 clocks, featured in the above video. We can't wait to discover what 2,000 look and sound like in the historic rooms at Nostell.

Jerram was inspired by John Harrison to create this 'garden of clocks.'
Luke Jerram in the middle of his Harrison's Garden installation