Castle Rushen’s medieval clock will stop next week as conservation work begins on Castletown’s landmark clock tower.

The clock mechanism will be temporarily removed to enable high level conservation works to be completed, helping prevent water ingress to the clock tower.

Castle Rushen's clock, photographed in 2016.
Castle Rushen's clock, photographed in 2016. (Media Isle of Man )

The clock room roof and floor structure will both undergo essential repair and the clock mechanism will also be cleaned prior to reinstatement. 

One of just a few wooden framed clocks to survive from the 16th Century, Castle Rushen’s medieval clock has undergone significant changes and restoration during its lifetime. Amongst these was the replacement of the original escapement in the early 18th century with the pendulum escapement we see today.

The clock didn't have a face at all until around 1720, by which time it was already at least 100 years old.  Sadly, the original clock face was lost, with the current one-handed face dating to the 1980's.

Chris Weeks, conservator for Manx National Heritage, said: ‘Next week, Manx National Heritage will open the next chapter in Castle Rushen’s history as our team temporarily remove its medieval clock ahead of essential maintenance to the Clock Tower beginning.

‘The first step is removal of the 16th Century mechanism for the specialist programme of works to be carried out, which will safeguard the clock on a long-term basis, as well as protecting and preserving its home at Castle Rushen.’

The latest phase of conservation of the Clock Tower will start on Tuesday, March 5 and will conclude in the autumn when the clock will return to Castle Rushen.

Castle Rushen Clock’s Medieval Escapement
Castle Rushen Clock’s Medieval Escapement (Manx National Heritage )