The Princes Risborough Clock

Its restoration to a working condition

The work on the clock mechanism was carried out by Mr Chris Dennis,
who has provided most of the photographs.

December 2000. The restoration team receive a 'Commended' from the Wycombe District Council Jack Scruton Heritage Award 2000.

August 1999. The Clock face has been fitted to the tower.

The Clock Face restoration.

A Self Winding Mechanism has been acquired and restored.

A Short History of the Clock.

The restoration of the Clock

Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire.

The clock of the Parish Church, St. Mary's, has been stored in the tower since the current spire was erected in 1907.

On the 10th January 1998 Chris Dennis with assistance from his brother Bob carefully lowered it down from the room just below the belfry so that he could begin its restoration.

Many hours were spent cleaning the brass cogs and repainting the wrought iron frame.

By March, with a temporary pendulum, a length of towrope to hang the weights and a bell from the front door, the mechanism was once again in motion and chiming the hours.

A major problem was that the two gears necessary to connect the shafts that turns the hands were missing.

However, courtesy of skilled local engineers, new ones have been made. A new hour hand has also been produced.

The brass dial, which is used to set the time, is inscribed:

'Risborough Clock I be
Tomlinson of Thame made me

Scratched on the back are indications that it has been repaired twice by B.Child of Great Missenden.

The 62 inch diameter clock face, after having an initial wash down, awaits to be painted.

It has now been repainted in black with gold leaf figures.

On Good Friday 1998, Bob (left) and Chris moved the clock so it could be hoisted onto a scaffold, that Bob had made.

This enabled the pendulum to be attatched. However pipework in the roof precluded the fitting of the hands.

The Clock returns to the tower

On the 24th April 1998, Chris and Bob returned the clock to its place of storage in the tower.

Standing at the edge of the open trap-door they hauled it up. (The photographer was in the farthest corner turning green).

After the clock had been raised, and pulled clear of the opening, it was returned to its original spot by the wall.

Chris returned to the ground to attach the circular weight from the end of the pendulum to the rope, which Bob then pulled up.

In the middle of July 1999, Chris and Bob winched the clock up to its final resting place in the belfry and attached it to the girders that cross the floor using adjustable feet made by Bob.

To accomodate the shaft to the hands, contractors have drilled a hole through the brick of the tower and knocked a flint out from the outside of the wall.

Scaffolding is scheduled to be errected during the middle of August to allow the clock face to be fitted.

Jack Scruton Heritage Award certificate

Restoring The Clock Face.

The Self Winder.

The Clock face fitted to the tower.

The view from the tower.

A short history of the clock.

Top of the Page

How it works a simplified version.

The clock: in greater detail