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St Albans Clock Tower open for visitors after facelift

by awitherick on 8 May, 2011

As you will have probably seen St Albans Clock Tower has reopened its doors to visitors, following conservation work carried out by St Albans City and District Council, which owns the building.

The wooden louvre slats covering some of the windows have been replaced and repointing of brickwork has been carried as part of the conservation work which was completed two weeks ahead of schedule, allowing it to open in time for the wonderful Easter weekend.

During the ten-week project, the medieval Clock Tower was covered in scaffolding.

Built between 1403 and 1412 and containing a mechanical clock, the Grade 1 listed building is the only medieval Clock Tower of its kind in the country.

Volunteers from St Albans and Hertfordshire Architectural and Archaeological Society and from St Albans Civic Society will open up the tower to the public during the rest of the summer on Saturdays and Sundays. Visitors will be able to visit the tower from 10.30 am – 4.45 pm. A fee of £1 will be charged for each adult, while accompanied children will be allowed to go in for free. Unaccompanied children will be admitted at the clock watcher’s discretion.

Simon West, District Archaeologist at St Albans City and District Council, said: “The tower is a building of significant architectural interest in St Albans. From the beginning it had a mechanical clock, a great rarity at that time. The tower was a symbol of civic pride and was used both as a lookout and to sound a curfew, ringing the time when people needed to be at home keeping a watchful eye over their fires to prevent them getting out of control.”

English Heritage, as custodian for Grade 1 listed buildings, was consulted about the conservation work and gave permission for it to go ahead. The work was carried out on behalf of the Council by local architect, Roy Darby, and builders, Bakers of Danbury, experts in working on historic and listed buildings.

More information about the Clock Tower is available on the website for St Albans Museums at:

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