The Clock Stops

The clock made by John Harrison at Nostell

Created in 1717 when John Harrison was only 24, Nostell’s clock is one of only three if its kind that survived from this period. With a mechanism made almost entirely from wood, it's signed and dated by its proud craftsman. 

The Clock Stops exhibition is a must-see on your visit to the house. Harrison’s 300-year-old treasure has been taken out of its Victorian case especially for the exhibition so that you can peer inside at its intricate inner workings.

A local lad

Did you know John Harrison lived at Nostell? Born here in 1693, he was the son of the estate carpenter and developed his love of clocks and engineering from a young age. Explore the exhibition to unravel Harrison’s story from humble beginnings, with no formal education, to solving the greatest scientific problem of the age and winning the esteemed Longitude Prize.

Harrison’s most famous invention

The ‘longitude problem’ – how to tell the time at sea – had confounded astronomers and mathematicians for decades. Despite a chilly response from scholars, you'll discover how Harrison invented the marine chronometer, saving many lives at sea.

Other highlights in the exhibition include a William Hogarth satirical print illustrating the eighteenth century 'longitude lunatics' and letters from the National Trust archives.

You can also see a regulator clock in the exhibition and discover exactly what makes it tick.
Clock parts displayed in The Clock Stops exhibition at Nostell
You can also see a regulator clock in the exhibition and discover exactly what makes it tick.

Join the conservation conversation

This treasure has been ticking steadily for 300 years but sometimes now it stops. Should we replace worn parts or simply stop it to preserve its original state? 

You can also add your thoughts to the discussion board in the exhibition and join the #ClockWork debate on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Here's the opinion of Jonathan Betts, National Trust Advisor on Clocks and Watches.