Iconic clock strikes for first time in 40 years

Rushton Hall and Spa
Rushton Hall and Spa

History was made at a Northamptonshire stately home when its iconic clock struck for the first time in four decades.

Rushton Hall Hotel and Spa’s iconic timepiece, which stopped working 40 years ago, has been switched on after being fully restored by the Cumbria Clock Company.

Originally installed in 1829, the clock sits above the Grade I Listed former stables of Rushton Hall, which now operates as the Stableyard Spa.

Richard Hazelton, commercial director at The Hazelton Group, said: “As part of the beautiful and iconic buildings that make up the Rushton Hall estate, we were keen to restore the ancient clock of the Stableyard Spa to its former glory.

“The distinctive chime of the clock has not been heard for the last 40 years and as such an extraordinary feature, with such great history attached to it, we felt it was time to bring the clock back to life.”

Specialists the Cumbria Clock Company, were enlisted to restore Rushton Hall’s clock after previously carrying out refurbishment work on clocks at Hampton Court Palace and the Palace of Westminster, also known as Big Ben, and more recently, at the Olympic Park in London.

Keith Scobie-Young, of the Cumbria Clock Company, said: “Sadly, the bell and the dial, which is dated 1829, are the only items that could be salvaged from the original clock, as the mechanism itself had undergone a lot of wear and tear over the years.

“A new movement and hammer were built at our workshop in Penrith over a number of weeks and have been fully re-installed, along with an electric strike that will allow the clock to ring out hourly once again.”

The Rushton Hall estate covers over 90 hectares and sits just off Desborough Road on the edge of Rushton.

It was built by Sir John Tresham in 1438 and remained the Tresham family home for 200 years, before later being extended and embellished by the Cockayne family, who purchased the estate in 1630.

Regular visitor Charles Dickens is believed to have conceived the idea of Haversham Hall, as featured in his classic novel Great Expectations, while at Rushton Hall.

Visit www.rushtonhall.com or phone 01536 713001 for more.