Three Years on from Elvaston Castle Clocktower Restoration

February 27, 2023 Heritage, Traditional

The clocktower at Elvaston Castle in Derbyshire houses within it a Smith of Derby clock we made in 1868.

As part of the restoration to the clocktower at Elvaston Castle, which we completed three years ago this week, we took the flatbed clock to our Clockworks for a complete overhaul. We also shot-blasted and restored the levers for the bell’s hammer, and removed the dial and the wind vane; repainting, gilding and refitting them to the newly repaired copper structure.⁠

The team at Elvaston Castle were looking for ways to hold on to the integrity of the clock and maintain its accuracy, while reducing the need for regular manual winding of the clock weights. With this in mind, they asked us to install a couple of the products we have developed for these purposes:⁠

Firstly, we fitted our Autowind Unit to solve the problem of manual winding. Since the securing pads and clamps require no holes to be drilled, and a new cable is incorporated and tensioned to stabilise the sprocket and prevent slippage, the historic integrity of the clock is not compromised. Should it be desired at a later date, the clock could be converted back to its exact manual winding condition.⁠

(Elvaston Castle Clocktower today. Photo by Clockmaker and Technical Sales Engineer, Jack)

Secondly, we installed our Pendulum Arrest Regulator (PAR) to provide automatic timekeeping. The quartz controlled timekeeper works with unobtrusive magnets to hold, or ‘arrest’ the pendulum, and features automatic power failure backup and time correction.⁠

Clockmaker and Sales Engineer, Jack who worked on the restoration three years ago, returned to Elvaston Castle this weekend and took the image (split in two across the final two images) of visitors walking towards the clock tower. The copper layering over the clocktower looks nicely weathered in contrast to the gold of the wind vane glistening above.⁠




About the author

Nicholas Whitworth: