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Letter: How Much Earlier Than 1683 Might the Town Clock Mechanism Be?

Published on: 14 Mar, 2022
Updated on: 14 Mar, 2022

The Guildhall Clock.

From: John Redpath

R4GV borough councillor for Holy Trinity

In response to: The Guildhall Clock, A Close Look At Some Hidden And Rarely Seen Aspects

Thank you Guildford Dragon NEWS and Hugh Coakley, David Rose and Matthew Alexander for recording such a fantastic history of our famous clock.

Could the glass dials have become blackened by the gaslighting that illuminated them from the inside I wonder?

When I visited with Hugh for this article, I think it was Alistair Piper who told us the clock mechanism, (that’s housed in the Guildhall roof space, rather than within the clock dial box [see photo below]), is in fact 100 years or so older than the date stated on the clock itself (1683).

This would suggest that John Aylward, the merchant who donated the clock to the Guildford Corporation, actually donated a second-hand mechanism for the task! In return for his generous donation, he was allowed to trade in the town.

Can Matthew, David or someone else confirm whether the mechanism predates 1683 please?

Editor’s response: David and Matthew are the most knowledgeable on this but see previous article: Time To Start Again in the High Street – Town’s Icon To Be Restored to Working Order and the links it contains to other stories on the clock.

Photo originally published in 2014 with the caption: “The clock mechanism inside the roof space of the Guildhall. Don’t take the date of 1683 on the clock case as the age of the clock. These cogs and pieces of movement may be 100 older!”

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