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When I first started here, it was an unexpected but pleasant surprise to find that my training included learning how to wind the historic clocks. The clocks, dotted around the house, are pretty amazing.

'Bubbles'

This clock, affectionately known as ‘Bubbles’ (as it depicts two cherubs blowing bubbles), is located in the Sultana room. It is a French eight-day mantel clock from around 1830 – meaning that it needs winding every eight days otherwise the movement will wind down and stop.

A Lesage mantel clock c.1820, protected by a glass dome.

As most of the clocks are eight-day clocks, winding takes place once a week. They are wound on the same day each week, ideally at the same time. We record any changes, and how well the clock is keeping time (how much time has been gained or lost since last week).

Caroline winding the clock in the dining room

Caroline winding the longcase clock in the Servants Hall

Clocks were created in the late 13th century in European monasteries, and started to appear in large private houses in the late 15th century. They were symbols of wealth and learning. The Golden age for English clock making began in the 17th century when the pendulum was introduced, meaning that clocks were more accurate, and so the running of the house was more precise.

And now I shall leave you with a sneak peek into the developing Butler’s Pantry – with just under a month to go until it opens!

The Butler's Pantry

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