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Treasure Hunt - The Tidal Clock

10 June 2016

Living and working on a tidal island is wonderful, but it can also be a little challenging! All of us – residents, employees and visitors too – are affected by the tides, which rise and fall twice a day and change how we make our way to and from the island. 

Knowing what the tides are doing at any time, and when high and low water are going to occur in Mount’s Bay is very important. So back in the 18th century the St Aubyn family purchased this handsome longcase clock, which gave them all the information they needed.

This tidal clock was made in about 1785 by Roger Wearne, a local clockmaker who lived and worked in St Erth near Hayle in Cornwall. The clock tells not only the time but also the date, and the time of high water in Mount’s Bay. It stands almost two metres tall in a mahogany case and has a painted arch and a brass face.

It is still accurately working today and can be found standing proudly in the corner of one of the smaller showrooms in the castle. If you are fortunate enough to find yourself in the room at a quiet time of the day, just take a moment to stop and listen carefully to the sonorous tick…tock…tick…tock. It is such a beautiful and soothing sound. So, just as it has for centuries, this clock stands tall in the castle and marks the passage of time and tide.