The present clock was re-discovered in 1976 during a routine church inspection, lying as a heap of rusting iron in one of the tower rooms. The parish must be indebted to Mr J. Hooper who undertook extensive research into its provenance and was responsible for the partial restoration. These notes are based on his work of 1979.
The first recorded church clock was made by Ralph Cloud of Beaminster, who was paid £5 in 1697 “for making ye clork”. However, it is possible that there had been an earlier instrument because there is a record stating that “2d was pd Wm Arnold for the clork used for the former churchwarden’s times”, which may have been a reference to the sale of the old clock.
Lawrence Boyce of Puddletown constructed the clock on display at the back of the church in 1730. He and his son, John (1699–1766), had a thriving business and were craftsmen of considerable ability. They were responsible for many long case clocks in the district as well as a similar turret clock built for Bere Regis church, but which can now be seen running in the County Museum in Dorchester.
The Trust gratefully acknowledges images and text by Robin Adeney ©
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