Museum grant for striking grandfather clock built by Daventry man arrives just in time

People in Daventry are encouraged to make time to see a fine fully working grandfather clock built in the 1700s by Henry Simcock.

By Lucie Green
Tuesday, 25th January 2022, 4:18 pm

Daventry Museum acquired the clock having been awarded a grant from the Museums Association Beecroft Bequest in December 2021.

This longcase (grandfather) clock was built by Henry, originally a lock maker, who moved from Billing to Daventry in 1690.

The dial is signed ‘Hen Simcock Daintree’; Daintree was an early name for Daventry. Simcock made clocks in the town until 1727.

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The clock is at Daventry Museum.

Simcock is cited in ‘Watchmakers & Clockmakers of the World’ by G.H. Baillie, a reference book that documents watchmakers and clockmakers throughout the world, from the earliest records of the 14th century to 1825.

The clock dial is that of a one-hand clock design, with black Roman numerals and engravings between each number, echoing the design of the fine steel filigree style spade hand that would have been ‘blued’ in order to stop rusting.

The movement of the birdcage style brass mechanism is also typical of the period. The dial accurately fits the case, indicating the oak case (a traditional material of the time) is original.

This clock was made only 50 or so years after the pendulum clock (John Fromanteel 1658), and the longcase clock were developed. Formerly, wall clocks with hanging weights were, it is said, often played with by cats causing bad timekeeping - enclosing them within a case solved the problem! This clock is a rare survivor from the golden age of English clock making.

The clock is in full working order.

For more information visit www.daventrymuseum.org.uk or telephone (01327) 301246, email: [email protected]

Daventry Museum is operated by Daventry Town Council. The museum is free to visit.

A close up the fine clock.