Nostell Priory: A tick-tock show for a clockmaker

TIME: Nostell will stage an show with 2,000 timepieces to celebrate legendary clockmaker John Harrison
TIME: Nostell will stage an show with 2,000 timepieces to celebrate legendary clockmaker John Harrison
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Nostell priory is counting down on a grand scale to celebrate the life of one of England’s greatest inventors.

The National Trust property will have an art installation of 2,000 ticking clocks to mark its ties with legendary clockmaker John Harrison (1693 to 1776).

It is 300 years since Harrison, the man behind the marine chronometer which calculates longitude at sea, made a rare clock which is still housed at Nostell. He was born nearby at Foulby and his dad was a carpenter at Nostell estate.

Fittingly, the ticking clock exhibition will open on Saturday, March 25 - the day before the clocks spring forward from GMT to BST. The art installation, known as ‘Harrison’s Garden’ has been made by internationally renowned artist Luke Jerram who has been inspired by Harrison. It will also include 500 clocks that are in the process of being donated by Nostell’s community. They have 260 so far and are looking for more.

Mr Jerram said: ““For me, Harrison’s Garden is an imagined landscape; a garden of clocks. It is a glimpse of a surreal fictional world or perhaps an image from one of John Harrison’s dreams. Like a garden, the installation is a living and growing collection of different clock ‘species’.”

The clocks in the touring installation will be clustered to form patterns and shapes along the floors and surfaces, with each one set to a different time so that visitors will hear a musical delight of ticking, clicking and chiming throughout the day.

Project curator Chris Blackburn said: “At Nostell we celebrate the work of ordinary people crafting the extraordinary.

“We’re very proud to look after one of John Harrison’s early handmade wooden clocks and we’re looking forward to telling his story through this fascinating contemporary installation.”

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