Historic Clock Restored at Hodge House in Cardiff

February 14, 2023 Uncategorized

Architects and Design Practice Stride Treglown, have completed the latest stage in their £17 million refurbishment for owner Legal & General. As part of this stage, which brings the 110,000 square foot eight-storey Hodge House office building into the 21st century, the clock and four dials adorning the clock tower have been repaired by our Smith of Derby team and restored to their former glory.

Repairs to the clock, which has kept accurate public time in Cardiff city centre for over 100 years, comprised, “restoration of the clock dials and mechanism, reinstatement of the bell, structural repairs, cleaning of stonework and roof repairs,” says project lead Toni Riddiford.

Helen Bartlett, from Paramount, assists with gilding one of the four clock dials.

Helen Bartlett, managing director at Paramount, the main contractor of the refurbishment at Hodge House, describes how “the clock and its four faces were removed and sent to their original manufacturer – Smith of Derby – to overhaul the mechanism, restore and repaint the surface faces and re-gild the gold features. The white glass infill elements were also replaced. The 780mm tall bell was removed for restoration and has now been replaced on a new metal structure for greater stability. The four face clock has been out of action for at least five years, frozen at 10 past 7, but is now once again a prominent public timekeeper and city wayfinder.“

The dome markers, marking the 12, 3, 6 and 9 hours, are re-gilded in the Works as part of the extensive restoration process.

Once the clock and dials were faithfully restored, returning them to the clocktower was no mean feat of engineering. The largest mobile tower crane in the world was required to lift the dials and extend above the building, making five separate crane lifts in all to complete the works to the clock tower across 32 weeks.

News of the clock tower restoration featured in Wales247: https://www.wales247.co.uk/cardiff-city-centre-clock-tower-back-working-following-major-refurbishment

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Nicholas Whitworth: