Clock on the St. James Palace Gatehouse

St James Palace upper floors

St. James Palace was the residence of Kings and Queens of England for over 300 years, until Queen Victoria’s reign. The palace itself, built between 1531-1536 by Henry VIII, is no longer used as the reigning sovereign’s home, but contains apartments that have housed members of the Royal Family.  Some of the former residents include Prince Charles and his sons William and Harry, Princess Alexandra, Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice.  It is also used to host charity events for those in which the Royal Family are involved and family events.  The Tudor style gatehouse faces St. James Street.St James Palace clockResting atop the gatehouse is a bell tower, only partially visible behind the parapet holding the clock.  The “bell of the great clock” was cast 1731 and inscribed with the name of Clay (Walford, 1878).  The gatehouse was repaired in 1831 and the clock was removed.  It was replaced following the addition of a minute hand (originally only held the hour hand) and new dials were added.  clock faceAt the 9 o’clock position, the design represents King William IV, a crown symbol at 12 o’clock, and 1832, year of replacement, at 6 o’clock.  I find no information about the meaning of the R at 3 o’clock position. 

Who might have been one of the Royal Family engaged in some charitable event or family lunch that day?

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13 Responses to Clock on the St. James Palace Gatehouse

  1. We lived fairly close to St James palace and often took guests there. I don’t remember the clock, but I’ll be looking to see if it shows up in any of my photos.


    • Suzassippi says:

      Cool! I found an item that said there is a similar one on the other side of the gatehouse, I guess facing to the inside of the compound. Happy Saturday–it is miserably hot and humid here. 😦


      • We’ve had some lovely thunderstorms Saturday afternoon. Sorry to hear your weather was not so pleasant. We were eating a late lunch on the back porch, and a streak of lightning hit on this side of the mountain. It’s good we like thunderstorms.


        • Suzassippi says:

          That is good; me too, as long as we do not lose electricity, which happens a lot here!


          • We lost power fairly often on Long Island, and we were out for days after hurricanes and blizzards. The worst was a February blizzard that left us with 32 inches of snow and no power for about eight days. Our street was not plowed, so an emergency vehicle could not have reached us. Mountain snows have never been that bad here!

            Does your power go out for long periods of time?


            • Suzassippi says:

              Well, never for 8 days, thank goodness! Usually 2-4 hours depending on how bad it is, but we have had the all night all day a few times–one year it went out just as I was putting the turkey in the oven for Thanksgiving. We had no power all day, and we roasted it in the grill. :). Everything is electric though, so no power, no water, no heat, no air, no lights.


            • You are very resourceful! Golly! When you are out, you are really OUT!

              Because of our experiences on Long Island, we had a generator installed for this house. It has been handy, especially when the neighbors came over to recharge their phones. In the six years we’ve been here, we haven’t been without power more than 24 hours.


  2. Sheryl says:

    The clock is beautiful. It’s amazing how old it is.


  3. peggyjoan42 says:

    Love the shape of this building and I think the clock is absolutely beautiful. Very interesting what this building was used for. Enjoyed your post very much.


  4. Beth says:

    Lovely, elegant clock! I’m glad it was restored and updated. The “R” is bugging me though! Maybe for Regina or Regent? Queen Elizabeth signs her name as Elizabeth R with the R standing for Regina or Queen.


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