The Astronomical Clock
Quarter Jack

Wimborne Minster - Astronomical Clock

Wimborne Minster - Quarter Jack


On the south wall there is an astronomical clock dating back to circa 1320.  It was built by a monk named Peter Lightfoot at Glastonbury.

The sun points to the time of day (there is no minute hand), and the gold/black orb represents the moon, and shows the phases of the moon.  When there is a full moon, it will be completely golden and when there is an eclipse it will be completely black.  The intermediate phases such as half-moon or a three- quarters moon, will be correspondingly shown as half black and half gold or three-quarters gold and a quarter black etc.

The casing on the wall holds the cogs, which move the sun and moon around the face of the clock.  The actual works are in the belfry and there is a model of the complete clock left of the west door.

Attached to the clock is a full size Grenadier, called the Quarterjack, which strikes the quarter hours.  This figure is on the north wall outside the Minster.  The original figure was that of a monk, but this was replaced during the Napoleonic War.