G A Baker's Clock - Southgate Street, Gloucester, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 51.906 W 002° 14.764
30U E 551912 N 5746303
Quick Description: This clock, with its assortment of figures and bells, is on the south east side of Southgate Street in the centre of Gloucester. The attraction is not so much the clock but the automated figures that ring the bells.
Location: Southern England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 3/21/2014 9:13:11 AM
Waymark Code: WMKCQ1
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Ianatlarge
Views: 4

Long Description:

There are five bells in this autonomon display that are used to signal the quarter hours and hours of the clock. Each figure has a bell to strike with the centre bell being hit by a hammer attached to a cord pulled bu Old Father Time in the centre of the tableau. The other bell chiming characters are represent the nations of Ireland, England, Scotla and Wales respectively.

The building that the clock is attached to is Grade II listed with the entry at the English Heritage website telling us:

Shop and dwelling. 1904. Brick with dressed stone details, slate roof. Double-depth block.

EXTERIOR: four storeys and cellar; on the front a fine well-preserved, original shop-front with recessed entry to left, and large windows of plate glass set in cast-iron frame of colonnettes with small, decorative brackets in the upper angles: the windows framed at each end by slender pilasters inset with panels of mirror glass, and with consoles supporting finials at each end of the fascia, the fascia inscribed in centre "BAKER", to left "PRACTICAL WATCHMAKER", and to right "JEWELLER AND OPTICIAN", all in gilt lettering; on the first floor a wide arched recess with a stone basket arch on moulded stone imposts; on the second and on the third floor three horned sashes with bars in the upper sashes in openings with stone sills projecting from stone bands and stone lintels; pilaster strips at either end of the front corbelled out from second-floor level, a shallow crowning cornice, and parapet with stone balustrade panels. The building is notable for its clock made by Niehus Brothers of Bristol, with five life-size automata figures striking bells on the hours and quarters; the figures standing within the arched recess on the first floor: in the centre Father Time with an hour glass, to right John Bull and a Welshwoman, to the left a Scotsman and an Irishwoman; above the crown of the arch a decorative, cast-iron, cantilever bracket supporting a clock crowned by a brass finial, and hanging from the bracket a larger bell.

The Gloucester Quays website also advises:

A weird and wonderful place, the Old Bell was originally built about 1660 for apothecary Thomas Yate.

On the first floor is fireplace with an elaborately carved stone overmantle featuring the Yate family. One of the seated cherubs, representing the four sons, has six fingers on his left hand.

In 1912 the building was incorporated into the famous Bell Inn, which stood adjacent on the South side. The Bell was the birthplace of George Whitefield, the evangelist, who travelled through all of the American colonies in the middle of the eighteenth century. At this time the Inn was run by his brother Richard, and is featured in Henry Fielding's novel Tom Jones where it is described as "an excellent house indeed, and which I do seriously recommend to every reader".

The clock is at G. A. Baker & Son the Jewelers on Southgate Street near the Cross-in Gloucester. The figures are from left to right - An Irishwoman, an Englishman, Old Father Time, a Scotsman and a Welshwoman.

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reelcutter visited G A Baker's Clock - Southgate Street, Gloucester, UK 3/8/2015 reelcutter visited it