Church of England Diocese of Bath & Wells Norton Fitzwarren

The Tower Clock

The Tower Clock was made by J.W Benson, renowned clock makers of London, this fine 8-day turret clock was given in memory of William Henry Hewett, his wife Frances Mary Hewett, and their son Herbert Tremenheere.  Hewett (former captain of Somerset County Cricket Club 1891-1893).

1925 - On its installation in 1925 the clock mechanism was placed in what was then the ringing room, on the floor immediately above the present ringing gallery. The size of the clock housing left little room for the bell ringers, who had to relocate, initially probably to the ground floor, and then later to the present ringing gallery.

1953 - For the first 28 years of its life the clock operated with only a chiming mechanism, and no dial, as the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings allegedly disapproved of the proposal for a clock dial. The dial was finally added in 1953 to commemorate the Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The Westminster chime strikes out on the treble, 2nd, 3rd and tenor bells; and the hour is struck on the tenor.

The 1980s – The winding of the clock was a manual task, once every week; but this laborious process ceased in the 1980s when automation, and an electric motor, replaced the manual winding gear, at which time a programme of restoration took place. This restoration included the overhauling of the chiming mechanism, and the re-gilding of the dial and hands. These works were made possible by a donation from the Taunton Cider Company.

2018 – As reported in the Norton Community News, during the hot summer days of August the motion work was fully serviced, the dial was repainted, and the hands, hour numbers and minute marks were re-gilded. These works were made possible by a kind donation from the family of the late John Rendall, a former Chairman of the Parish Council, and also by a grant from the Parish Council.

Val Contreras and Andrew Ritchie, Churchwardens