St Augustine's Church
John Seymour's ancient faceless clock

 

The Clock

The East Hendred Church Tower Clock is a faceless clock situated on a platform, in the bell tower, some 10m from the ground. Chimes ring out the quarters, the hours and after each canonical hour, at 3.6.9 and 12, a tune wheel plays the 'Angel's Hymn'.
The clock is a three train, end to end movement consisting of a going train, a quarter striking train, an hour striking train and a separate tune wheel.

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The Tune Wheel

The tune wheel operates on the same principle as a music box. A large wooden drum rotates at a constant speed, being driven by a weight. A simple gear train to a flywheel governs the speed of rotation.
A series of six levers placed close to the drum is moved by pins mounted on the drum. Each lever is connected to a striker on one of the bells. The position of the pins on the drum determines the striking sequence.
To wind the weights up for the tune wheel, a cranked handle and wooden lantern pinion are engaged with a wooden gear and cable barrel.

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bells.JPG (30092 bytes) The Bells

St Augustine's church has a ring of six bells, with the tenor weighing 1.1 tonne, (22cwt). They are hung in an unusually large oak bellframe, parts of which date back to 1631. The bells are all from different bellfounders, with the fourth by John Sanders of Reading dating from around 1550. Four of the bells were cast in Reading, one in Oxford and the other at Chacombe near Banbury.
The tune wheel plays the following tune on the bells every three hours:
6:4:6:5:4:3:5:2
6:4:3:2:5:2:3:2
4:3:2:1:2:3:4:5
2:3:4:5:6:4:5:6

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