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Holy Trinity’s Bells & Clock

A tenor bell cast by Messrs Taylor of Oxford and Loughborough was placed in the tower of the church in 1842 at about the same time that the clock was installed.

Holy Trinity bells before restoration
Holy Trinity bells after restoration

The fine clock installed in the tower of Holy Trinity in 1842 is a two train bird cage turret clock, with a pin wheel escapement and four slate dials. It was manufactured by John Moore and Sons of Clerkenwell, London.

This company was founded around 1790 and was known as Handley and Moore; these two were apprentices of Thwaites & Reed (established in Clerkenwell in 1740 as manufacturing clockmakers, with antecedents from 1610). The company ran for almost 100 years and during this time they were prolific makers of an endless variety of clocks. Not only did the company produce clocks but also wind dials and weather vanes. In 1899 the death of Henry James Moore brought the company to an end.

Holy Trinity clock mechanism (1842)

Moore is recognized as one of the great designers and makers of turret clocks. His firm made and installed hundreds all over the British Isles and abroad, most of them for churches and other public buildings.

Traditionally, clock and watch–making had involved specialist craftsmen working at home to produce the different parts, before they were assembled by ‘finishers’. Moore successfully established a factory system, which was more efficient and profitable. Even so, his clocks were not mass–produced, and each one was individually assembled and finished.

The factory had a smith’s workshop and a wheel-cutting shop on the ground floor. Turret clocks, like the one at Holy Trinity, were assembled on the floor above. House clocks were produced in a workshop on the top floor, with large windows to let in plenty of light.

Unfortunately the clock at Holy Trinity ground to a halt in 2011, in need of a complete overhaul. The High Time project enabled for the complete restoration of the clock and its four dials, as well as the installation of an automatic winder and regulating system, and safer access to the tower.