The Art of Time at the Royal Academy

May 24, 2018 Heritage, Public, Traditional

One of the latest London locations where we have restored timekeeping is The Royal Academy. We worked with John Sisk & Son on the newly refurbished Burlington Gardens towers. Each has a 1.7m diameter dial.


One dial is a conventional analogue clock, but the other is a wind indicator, with a pointer which is moved mechanically from the windvane above.


Whilst the wind-vane transmission was in good order and only required cleaning and lubrication, the vane itself was so weather-beaten that some parts had almost disappeared. Careful attention was paid to replicate these, particularly the finial which we rebuilt from brass to the correct profile, then hand-finished.


The dials were cleaned to bare metal, repaired where necessary and refinished to ensure their long-term survival at this prime location. We used the most durable paint and sealants but kept with tradition matched the original type of pot opal glass when re-glazing. The dial details are embellished with 23 ½ carat gold leaf. Synchronous drive with automated battery backup and Summer/Winter time change keeps the clock to time.

John Sisk & Sons article on the project may be found here.

Other recent examples of our restorative work in London City includes the refurbished clock at St James Market, 22 Regent Street and Little Ben at Victoria Station.

About the author

Mike Fitchett: Designer