Wednesday 7 December 2016

Cotswold clocks collection chimes with visitors

Published 20/10/2015 | 15:46

The Nychthemeron Clock, one of the 52 clocks at Snowshill Manor in Gloucestershire which will not be put back an hour (National Trust/PA)
The Nychthemeron Clock, one of the 52 clocks at Snowshill Manor in Gloucestershire which will not be put back an hour (National Trust/PA)
The clocks go back an hour this weekend

Although it is the tradition at this time of year to put the clocks back an hour, there is one place where they are left in peace.

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Snowshill Manor, the Cotswold home of British eccentric Charles Wade, is crammed with an eclectic collection of 22,000 objects - and among them are 52 clocks.

Mr Wade's home is now cared for by the National Trust, but staff are not going to be putting any of the clocks back an hour - simply because he would never have done it himself.

"He loved clocks and collected them with as much interest as the many other objects in the house," said Vicki Swinglehurst, Snowshill Manor's house steward.

"He loved the sound of them ticking and chiming, but he never set any of them to the correct time - he would leave them alone to chime away at whatever hour of day they happened to sound.

"The one clock which will be right is the sun dial in the garden - which will now be accurate again, as we leave British Summer Time."

Mr Wade, who died in 1956, gave the house to the National Trust in 1951.

The Snowshill collection of clocks includes a wide selection including English, Dutch, American, German, Austrian, and Japanese examples, each chosen for their design, craftsmanship and beauty.

"Whenever a clock chimes in the house, we often see visitors checking their watches, or glancing at their smartphones to see what time it is, but the staff and volunteers are used to the way none of the clocks agree with each other," Ms Swinglehurst said.

"They are just part of the charm of a house so crammed full of interesting and beautiful things - and it is amazing how fast the time passes in Snowshill Manor."

Press Association

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