Clockmakers of Northern England

Author: Brian Loomes

320 pages, 402 illustrations

The North of England has a long tradition of clockmaking. The earliest clockmakers trained in London in the late seventeenth century and then moved north to take advantage of the growing opportunities there. Soon a distinctive regional style developed, both dials - sometimes with a naive charm, but often with elaborate and high-quality decorative engraving - and the cases. The longcase clock was the principal type made in the North of England and local styles can be recognised, such as: the Hull pagoda topped case (based on the London style, but quite distinctive), the Leeds style, the mahogany Liverpool case with much use of dentil moulding, blind fretting and a 'brickwork' base, and the high quality cases made by Gillows of Lancaster.

In the book the author describes the development of the trade from the seventeenth century to the mid-nineteenth century. The life and work of the most important, most prolific and best-known clockmakers in the old counties of Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cumberland, Westmorland, Durham and Northumberland are recorded.

In all some 850 makers and their work are included, illustrated by over 400 photographs of their clocks. Most of the photographs in this book have been taken by the author from clocks that he has handled as a dealer, and many are published for the first time. The clocks illustrated range from unsophisticated cottage clocks to complex clocks of the highest quality, and in many instances the technical details of their movements are also included. The owners of most north-country clocks will be able to find something here about their makers.