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Essential works on Clock Tower underway following grant from Historic England

Publication date:

Crucial works on the auto-wind mechanism of St Albans’ medieval Clock Tower are underway following a generous grant from Historic England.

St Albans Museums, the organisation responsible with managing and maintaining the Clock Tower, received a grant of £5,240 towards the work from Historic England’s Covid-19 Emergency Heritage at Risk Response Fund.

Clock restoration specialists, Smiths of Derby, were commissioned to carry out the work. The company has years of experience carefully preserving the clock within the Clock Tower as well as restoring other prestigious clocks such as those at the Royal College of Arts and the London Coliseum.

The new auto-wind mechanism will replace a piece of outdated equipment with an updated model. This new mechanism has been selected as an upgrade which will have less impact on the Victorian winding mechanism.

Councillor Anthony Rowlands, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Heritage and Public Realm said:

The Clock Tower is an important local landmark and I am thrilled to hear that this essential work is now taking place.  Continuing to conserve our built heritage is vital and I am grateful to Historic England for the grant.

St Albans' Clock Tower is the only surviving medieval town belfry in England and is designated as a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

It is usually open to the public from Easter to the end of September and staffed by volunteers from the Civic Society and SAHAAS (The St Albans and Hertfordshire Architectural & Archaeological Society).

Following the government announcement last week, plans are now being created for reopening when guidelines allow. In the meantime, virtual tours are available on


Councillor Contact:
Councillor Anthony Rowlands, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Heritage and Public Realm
Email:; Tel: 07761 232064

Media contact:
Farhana Begum, Museums Business Manager, St Albans Museums
Email:, Tel: 01727 814638

About St Albans Museums

St Albans Museums manages and cares for a number of cultural heritage sites across St Albans City and District. This includes St Albans Museum + Gallery, Verulamium Museum, the Hypocaust, the medieval Clock Tower, Sopwell Ruins and the thousands of objects in the City’s collection.

About Historic England

We are Historic England, the public body that helps people care for, enjoy and celebrate England’s spectacular historic environment, from beaches and battlefields to parks and pie shops. We protect, champion and save the places that define who we are and where we’ve come from as a nation. We care passionately about the stories they tell, the ideas they represent and the people who live, work and play among them. Working with communities and specialists we share our passion, knowledge and skills to inspire interest, care and conservation, so everyone can keep enjoying and looking after the history that surrounds us all.