Gransden Church Bells & Training Centre


The Clock Room

From the ringing room a further 18 steps will bring you to the clock room.

This was the original ringing room and this is confirmed by presence of the small bell on the wall used to signal the ringers from the church. Also, The History of Great Gransden states, "A lofty tower arch, blocked up in 1813 to form a vestry, but re-opened in 1873, connects the nave with the tower..." We presume that the ringers were indeed in this room until 1873 when the tower arch was opened up during the restoration of the church, and they then moved to the ground floor of the tower.

This room was empty in the interim period with only the pendulum of the clock swinging quietly from the clock in the room above.

Click here to see the layout of the clock room.

 

 
 
 Doorway into the clock room
  Warning bell still in situ
  Pendulum swinging in the former ringing room
The boxing around the pendulum remains
        This photograph is a copy of one taken sometime before the tower restoration project in 2000  
 
  The clock is an end to end birdcage type and was made by Thomas Power of Wellingborough at a cost of £39-19-4d
 
 
 The clock dating from 1683 was previously positioned on the floor in the floor in the room above
      The internal dial indicates the minutes only
         
 
 
 
 
 The pendulum now swings in the same room as the clock    The escapement   The clock was wound by hand until 1973 when it was converted to electric winding. W F Sherman was clockwinder for 50 years, then his son took over until the end of hand winding. Both gentlemen were ringers here.
 
 
 
         
 
 
   
The chime barrel (circa 1757) has 5 tunes pinned out on it. The tune is changed every week by moving the levers along by half a centimetre. Details of the tunes can be found here. Before electric winding this machine had to be hand-wound every day. The apparatus is triggered into operation by the clock every three hours at 3,6,9 and 12 o'clock throughout the day and it plays for 5 minutes.
Chime barrel from the clock gantry
         
 
  The new clock room was designed to enable visitors to see the ancient and unique clock and chimes. As far as was possible the electric winding gear was kept out of site under the clock gantry
 

 
 Electric winding gear for the chiming apparatus
      The chime barrel drive gear with the speed regulator
         
 
 
 
   
 The clock gantry displays an Ely DA
sheild, a Heritage Lottery Funding acknolwedgement, and a work of art by Rebecca George, which depicts the bells in the old bell frame.
  The Heritage Lottery Fund supported the church by contributing towards the cost of refurbishing the clock and chimes on 2000
  Rebecca's work of art in pastels on slate.
The Old Belfry
         
The clock room also serves as a small museum where redundant items from the tower are displayed for visitors to see. They are the subject of guided tours to help describe more details about the clock and bells 
         
 
 
 
 
 
 The former wheel of the tenor bell
  The old clappers.
  The old sliders
         
 
 
 
 
 
Old clock parts including an anchor escapement and escape wheel in the left foreground
  Spare bell ropes - just in case!
  This is the underside of the stairs which go into the belfry from the turret stair
         
         
         
 Next stop - The Belfry
       





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