Object Details

Preston Park Clock Tower

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Makers
General Information
Classification
Object Parts
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Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright for Photograph:

Creative Commons

Location

Street:Stanford Avenue
Town:Brighton
Parish:Brighton
Council:Brighton & Hove City Council
County:East Sussex
Postcode:BN1
Location on Google Map
Object setting:Public Park
Access is:Public
Location note:In Preston Park (north side)
In the AZ book:East Sussex
Page:132
Grid reference:A4
The A-Z books used are A-Z East Sussex and A-Z West Sussex (Editions 1A 2005). Geographers' A-Z Map Company Ltd. Sevenoaks.

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Makers

Name : Eugenius Birch
     Role:Draughtsman
Company/Group :F. Patching & Son, Brighton
     Role:Builder
Name : Francis May
     Role:Designer
Company/Group :Messrs. Folkard and Son, Kings Road, Brighton
     Role:Silversmith

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General Information

Commissioned by: Mr Edward White JP of 'BeachIey', Preston Road
Construction period:Foundation stone laid 13 August 1891
Unveiling date:17/06/1892
Work is:Extant
Owner custodian:Brighton & Hove City Council
Object listing:Grade II: of special interest warranting every effort to preserve them
Listing date:26/08/1999
Description:The tower is alternately square and octagonal in plan, and rests on a plinth of granite steps. The first stage is square, with a battered base of buff terracotta and aedicules to either side formed of columns of buff terracotta carrying an entablature with stone frieze and open pediment of red terracotta; date 1891 in a cartouche to the tympanum. Within each aedicule, a round-arched niche, the architrave having a Gibbs surround, heads to keystones and a polished granite panel below, except on the east side which has a flat-arched entrance, the door having ornate wrought-iron hinges, with a shell-niche above. The upper part has a reverse squinch at the corners in the form of consoles, making the transition to the second stage which has a red terracotta frieze of festoons, long sides to the cardinal directions with 3-light, segmental-arched blank tracery and a cartouche below flanked by seated putti; then a frieze of blank ogee tracery; then a third, clock stage with clocks on each face with a circular moulding and heraldic griffins to the lower corners holding shields with the initials EW, and festoons and pediment above; flanking the clock faces are corbelled, octagonal, panelled, domed pinnacles, perhaps incomplete; the 4th, octagonal, lantern stage is in timber with deep bracketed eaves to domed octagonal roof topped by a dated weather-vane.
Inscription:Grey granite inscribed plaque within the rounded arch, facing west:

HERE I STAND WITH ALL MY MIGHT
TO TELL THE HOURS BY DAY AND NIGHT
THEREFORE EXAMPLE TAKE BY ME
AND SERVE THY GOD AS I SERVE THEE

Underneath this, inscription on terracotta foundation stone:

THIS BLOCK WAS LAID
BY
EDWARD WHITE ESQRE.
(THE DONOR OF THIS TOWER)
AUGUST 13TH 1891

Pink and grey granite inscribed plaque, within the rounded arch facing north:

BOROUGH OF BRIGHTON
The foundation block of this Tower was laid
by Edward White Esqre. The Donor on the 13th. August 1891
SAMUEL HENRY SOPER Mayor

This is followed by a list of those on the Recreation Grounds Committee and the architect and builders.

Pink and grey granite inscribed plaque, within the rounded arch facing south :

BOROUGH OF BRIGHTON
This Tower and Clock were erected by
the minificence of Edward White Esqre. a
member of the Council of this Borough and
dedicated by him to the use of the public
on the Seventeenth day of June 1892
JOSEPH EWART M.D. mayor.
Francis J. Tillstone
Town Clerk

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Classification

Categories:Architectural, Functional
Object type1:Building
     Object subtype1:Clock tower
Subject type1:Non-figurative

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Object Parts

Part 1:Tower
     Material:Red and pink terracotta and brick
     Height (cm):1981
Part 2:Steps
     Material:Granite
Part 3:Clock faces
     Height (cm):152
     Width (cm):152

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Object Condition

Overall condition:Good
Risk assessment:No known risk
Date of on-site inspection:08/10/2007

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History

History:The clock tower was gifted by Councillor Edward White and was handed over to the Brighton Corporation on Friday 17 June 1892. The ceremony took place at 12.15. The pupils of the York Place Board School were present as a choir, singing ‘All People That On Earth Do Dwell’ and ‘Now Thank We All Our God’. Edward White formally asked the Mayor to dedicate the clock tower to the use of the public and handed him a case containing a specially made key. The key that unlocked the door to the tower was made by Messrs. Fulkard and Son of Kings Road. The handle on one side was embellished with a blue enamel shield, bearing dolphins in silver and with the Borough crest on top with the motto ‘In Deo Fidemus’ underneath. On the reverse side was a dedicatory inscription commemorating the unveiling. Both parties made speeches. Frances May, the designer gave a speech saying that he had chosen terracotta rather than white stone because that would have been too ‘sepulchral’ for a park and noted that it was the first clock tower of its kind to be constructed of terracotta. Votes of thanks were made followed by the National Anthem, one verse being sung solo by Madame Marie Klauwell. A cricket match was then played on the grounds, teams being captained by councillors and an evening dinner followed in a marquee on the cricket ground. The dinner was attended by about one hundred guests, presided over by the Mayor.
The tower is built in the Renaissance style. It is square at the base with large pediments projecting from each side, supported by carved pillars and pilasters at each angle. Above a heavy cornice and moulding, the main shaft is carried up in the form of an irregular octagon, and above that, from a third stage, rises a square tower containing the clock, with a turret at each angle. Lastly there is a copper coloured turret with louvres, capped by a weather vane. The exterior is mainly in deep red and pink terracotta. On the second stage of the structure there are cupids sat astride dolphins. Dolphins are worked into the moulding on the columns of the pediment. In the tympanum of the pediments are small shields, one bearing Edward White’s monogram and the other the Borough Arms. On each side just beneath the clock faces are shields supported by griffins also filled with the donor’s monogram. On three sides of the main structure at the back of the pediments are inscribed tablets. On the east side is a door giving access to the clock tower.
(Brighton Herald Saturday 18 June 1892.)

The park itself was opened on 10 September 1883.
Hard archive file:Yes

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References

Source 1 :
     Title:Brighton Herald
     Type:Newspaper
     Date:18/06/1892


Further information:
www.mybrightonandhove.org.uk/page_id__6229_path__0p115p203p816p.aspx

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Photographs





Date: 08/10/2007
Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Date: 08/10/2007
Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Date: 08/10/2007
Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Date: 08/10/2007
Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons

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