Major revamp for Lancaster Castle’s clock tower

Lancaster Castle's clock tower. Picture by Nick Dagger Photography
Lancaster Castle's clock tower. Picture by Nick Dagger Photography

After months of being covered in scaffolding and protective sheeting, Lancaster Castle’s Victorian clock tower has been restored.

The historic clock, believed to date back to the 1820s, has had a new automatic winding mechanism installed, and its three faces and clock-hands painstakingly restored and re-gilded.

The original movement has been cleaned and lubricated, and new lines have also been fitted to the weights.

The original iron bell, dated 1823, was cracked in several places. It has now been expertly repaired, its clapper restored and a replacement oak support frame built to the original design to house it.

During the installation of the new frame, a piece of 19th century graffiti was uncovered, a signature carved into the lead roof which read ‘J Shipley, 1840’. This inscription has been preserved.

The fully restored clock will be unveiled this week and the bells will chime the hour from 12pm on Friday October 16.

The next phase of scheduled works will focus on the female penitentiary – one of thecountry’s last remaining examples of the panopticon design – and will begin in January 2016.