Harrison's Garden at Penrhyn Castle

This summer sees the finale of a spectacular touring art installation of thousands of ticking clocks in Penrhyn Castle's derelict, unloved rooms.

Experience Harrison's Garden at Penrhyn Castle every day from 16 June to 4 November, 12pm - 4pm

'Harrison's Garden' by renowned artist Luke Jerram is inspired by the clock maker John Harrison who struggled for decades to make navigation at sea safer, by creating the most accurate clock the world had ever seen.

Would he ever have imagined that there would be clocks in almost every room of every house and that they would shape society so profoundly?

A feast for the eyes... and ears

The clocks will be placed in the derelict third floor of the keep at Penrhyn and grouped to form patterns and shapes along the surfaces - all set to different times so that visitors will hear a musical delight of ticking, clicking and chiming throughout the day.

This floor of the keep is usually only accessible to visitors by tour, bringing another dimension to the work - a glimpse behind the scenes, behind ripped and water damaged wallpaper; into Penrhyn's past.

An imagined landscape of time
A close up of clocks in the Harrison's Garden installation
An imagined landscape of time

Rhian Cahill, Visitor Experience Manager describes why Penrhyn Chose to be part of this project:

"Art has become a big part of the programme at Penrhyn Castle and this installation fits in perfectly with our plans for the future. Our theme this year is all about time; a time to relax, the changing seasons, our relationship with time and a time for change.

"As well as this incredible piece of art we're really excited to have managed to commission local writer Manon Steffan Ros, to explore Penhryn's relationship with time and its community - delivering 12 stories in time, linked to Penrhyn's past, present and future."

" For me, Harrisons Garden is an imagined landscape; a garden of clocks. It is a glimpse of a surreal fictional world or perhaps an image from one of John Harrison's dreams. Like a garden, the installation is a living and growing collection of different clock species."
- Luke Jerram

Being part of the artwork

Harrison's Garden has travelled around the country visiting National Trust properties - Nostell Priory, Castle Drogo and Gunby Hall - collecting more and more timepieces along the way. Before its arrival this summer at Penrhyn Castle, people from the local community including Bethesda, have donated some of their own timepieces to the installation.  With these additional donations, there will be an estimated 5,000 ticking clocks to go on show at Penrhyn Castle as this spectacular touring art installation comes to Wales for the first, and only time.

After visiting Penrhyn Castle, the installation will go on to one more location before it will be auctioned off to raise money for a new statue of John Harrison, which will be erected in his hometown of Barton upon Humber.

Harrison’s Garden by Luke Jerram and 12 Stories by Manon Steffan Ros will be on display at Penrhyn Castle as part of the ‘Time at Penrhyn Castle’ season from 16 June – 4  November 2018 between 12pm and 4pm daily.


As access to our 'Time' exhibitions involves staircases and spiral stairs, we've created a short highlights film.   Please ask in the Grand Hall for more details on where you can view the film.