Icons of England
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Eastgate Clock, Chester

586 of 1160 nominations


Eastgate Clock, Chester

Is this an icon?


Eastgate Clock, Chester

In 1988, souvenir hunters did to the Eastgate Clock in Chester what no-one - as yet - has attempted to do to its London rival Big Ben; they made off with the clock's hands.

With its face glazed over to prevent another theft, the Eastgate Clock celebrated its official centenary in 1997 (with a classic car run from Chester to Big Ben). Although not opened until May 27, 1899, to mark Queen Victoria’s 80th birthday, it was actually commissioned for her Diamond Jubilee in 1897.

The photographic popularity of the Clock, designed by local architect John Douglas, remains something of a mystery to some. Nikolaus Pevsner described it as "a rusticated elliptical arch…" Even the local paper was somewhat reserved in its early appraisal, noting "The clock and stand are certainly handsome - perhaps a little too ornate for their surroundings." And it was not until 1956, after all, that Chester Council used an image of the Clock on the cover of its official city guide.

Notwithstanding that, it now finds itself nominated as nothing less than an icon of England.

Photo: David Roberts


Your comments

It is the second most photographed clock in England after Big Ben.

Ernest Jones

Eastgate clock is just one on many fine public clocks in England. The only one that most people will immediately associate with England is the Great Clock of St Stephen's Tower, in the Palace of Westminster - often incorrectly referred to as " Big Ben" - although this is, of course, the name of the bell that sounds the hours.
Richard English



My nomination is the garden shed.