World's oldest clock
The world’s oldest working mechanical clock was made of hand-wrought iron in or before 1386. It is believed to be the work of three horologists –Johannes and Williemus Vriemand and Johannes Jietuijt of Delft. As is usual of the period, the clock has no face and was designed only to strike hours. It is separated into two sections, the right-hand one being known as Going Train and the left-hand one as Striking Train. Each is driven by falling weights which have to be wound up once a day. In 1884, it was replaced with a newer model – a gift of officers and men of Wiltshire Regiment – and was only rediscovered in 1929. It wasn’t until 1956 that the clock was restored to its original condition and set up in its current position.
Hear the clock in action
You can attend a free demonstration of the clock every Tuesday and Thursday after 11am, all year round. Our expert guides give a short talk and release the striking mechanism so you can hear it ring – just as visitors in medieval times did!
*18 July 2018 - Demonstrations of the clock are temporarily suspended due to maintenance*