Historic Hillsborough clock to chime for the first time in decades
THE sound of clock chimes will be heard across Hillborough for the first time in more than 30 years following the restoration of the clocktower in the courthouse turret at Hillsborough Castle.
The cherished timepiece is being returned to its former glory thanks to an ambitious project to transform the Co Down estate into a major visitor destination.
With Hillsborough Castle and Gardens officially opening its doors on April 10, the clock chimes signify the countdown to a new chapter in the elegant Georgian house's history.
Along with the re-presentation of the castle's State Rooms, the Historic Royal Palaces' conservation and collections care team have spent months restoring the rare timepiece.
The clock is a renowned landmmark on the Hillsborough skyline and forms part of the courthouse, a Georgian building built in the late 1700s, which sits in harmony with the castle's prominent facade.
The clock and bell were made in 1810 by John Moxon and is deemed an extremely rare and important example of turret clock horology. With many parts replaced over time the bell is now the earliest surviving piece.
David Orr, conservator at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, said the clock was "intrinsically linked" to the history of the castle and gardens.
"We have worked with a dedicated team of experts across Northern Ireland and England for the last four months to restore this beautiful and rare timepiece; from clock conservationists, to gilding experts who added the delicate touches to the clock face," he said.
“It is fantastic to hear the clock chiming across Hillsborough after so many years. This marks the dawn of a new chapter, as Hillsborough Castle prepares to welcome the public through its doors in April.”