The Victorian turret clock illustrated here was made in 1895 by W. H. Bailey of Salford, Manchester - for Newfield Hall, a country house situated in Airton, North Yorkshire, the one time home of the High Sheriff of Yorkshire, Mr John William Morkill. The clock was originally installed by Bailey in the Halls turret building located in the stables court yard until it was removed almost 100 years later. Today, this interesting stables clock survives in a very complete and original condition throughout. The clock, it’s fascinating story and wonderfully historical provenance is fully revealed and illustrated below.
The clock is an Eight-day two-train flat bed turret clock, with dead beat escapement and one second pendulum. It was made in 1895 by W.H. Bailey of Manchester. The clock is very original throughout, retaining its original dial, one second pendulum, bronze bell, iron weights wheelwork, pinions, dead beat escapement, bevel gear linkage and winding handle.
Above. Showing the eight-day two-train flat bed turret clock made in 1895 by W.H. Bailey of Manchester. The clock now sits on a modern hard wood frame for indoor use. Photograph by Lee Borrett
Above and below. Showing a close-up of W.H.Bailey's movement which is a very original and complete condition including retaining its wheelwork, pinions, dead beat escapement, bevel gear linkage and winding handle.. Photograph by Lee Borrett
Below. Showing the original W.H.Bailey bronze bell and one second pendulum. Photograph by Lee Borrett
When the owners of Newfield Hall (the Holiday Fellowship) in 1991 needed to replace the (now very dirty and not working) stables clock with a modern Quartz clock so that they could use the area below into which the clock weights descended - as a bedroom - they contacted the Turret Group Section of the Antquarian Horology Society (AHS). It was the late Mike Bundock a highly experienced AHS member (and future Turret Group Chairman) who purchased the Stables Clock for his own private collection along with all of its accessories. Mike then in his spare time spent many hours lovenly and professionally restoring the clock, bringing it back to its former glory and good working order. The clock is very complete and original throughout, retaining its original dial, one second pendulum, bronze bell, weights wheelwork, pinions, dead beat escapement, bevel gear linkage and winding handle. W.H. Bailey were well known for using wooden hands on many of their dials. The original wooden hands on this clock were rotten so Mike had a replacement pair made. Mike gave the job of making the hands to fellow AHS member and life long friend the late John Moon. John was a highly liked and enthusiastic AHS member. He was an expert carpenter and cabinet maker. John made the hands using mahogany, copying the original Bailey ones.
Above. Showing a close-up of the original 24 inch diameter Bailey iron dial, complete with the replaced mahogany hands that were made by the late John Moon who copied the original Bailey hands that were rotten and decayed. Photograph by Lee Borrett
The Lost Bell
When I purchased the clock in about 1996 its original W.H. Bailey Bell was missing and Mike Bundock informed me that the original bell was believed to be somewhere in the vicinity of Newfield Hall. I therefore decided to put out an S.O.S advert out in the local newspaper in the slim hope of finding the bell. Amazingly a former gardener of Newfield Hall contacted me and told me that she had the original Bailey Bell and I was finally able to reunite the clock with its original bell. The bell was in a very dirty condition, so I had it professionally cleaned to match the rest of the clock since it was going to be housed inside my home and not outside.
Above. Showing the S.O.S advert to find the original Bailey Bell.
Below Found! Amazingly the S.O.S advert paid off and the lost bell was reunited with the Stables Clock in 1997.
Below. A close-up of the professionally cleaned and original W.H.Bailey bronze bell which measures 13 inches x 14 inches and which is now housed indoors. Photograph by Lee Borrett
Newfield Hall, a country house in Airton, North Yorkshire. Image courtesy of KirkbyMalham.info
Newfield Hall is a former country house located one mile to the southeast of the village of Airton, North Yorkshire. It was designed by the Lancaster architect E. G. Paley for William Nicholson Alcock at a cost of £36,000 (equivalent to £3,703,073.43 in 2019). Construction of the house started by at least 1855, and it was opened in 1856. Alcock was a lawyer who had moved to Gloucestershire by 1881.
Above and Below. Newfield Hall and its estate were sold in 1890 to William Illingworth, a retired Bradford worsted manufacturer. Images courtesy of KirkbyMalham.info
Below. Showing a rare Victorian photograph of William Illingworth (centre) pictured outside the house, possibly with his tenants. Image courtesy of KirkbyMalham.info
Left. It was William Illingworth who purchased the clock from Bailey in 1895. Image courtesy of KirkbyMalham.info
Left. Showing a page from Mr Morkills book published in 1933.
Above. Mr John William Morkill, the owner of Newfield Hall from 1901 was High Sheriff of Yorkshire in 1920-1930
Below. The Parish of Kirkby Malhamdale written by Mr John William Morkill.
Newfield Hall was sold again in 1901 to John William Morkill who became High Sheriff of Yorkshire in 1929–30 and a Deputy Lieutenant, and who wrote the standard local history of Malhamdale.
During the 1930s the estate was broken up, the house being leased to the Holiday Fellowship, and the rest of the estate was sold to All Souls College, Oxford.In 1991 the Fellowship became short of bedroom space and required the area into which the clock weights descended. Therefore having served Newfield Hall for almost 100 years, the clock was removed and replaced with a modern quartz.
The Stables Court-Yard
Above. Showing the Newfield Hall stables court yard in 1990 with the original turret clock (the same clock shown in this article) still housed in the turret building-just before it was removed. Image courtesy of KirkbyMalham.info
Below. Showing the Newfield Hall stables court yard in recent times with the original turret clock having been replaced with a modern quartz-with a new bedroom underneath. Image courtesy of KirkbyMalham.info
W.H. Bailey, Salford
Brief history of
Above. Image from John Davies's facebook post 'We grew up in Salford'. Sir William H. Bailey was knighted by Queen Victoria on the royal yacht in 1894 - on the occasion of Her Majesty opening the Manchester Ship Canal.
William Henry Bailey was born at Salford on 10th May 1838 and attended the Manchester Grammar School until he was 14 years of age. On leaving school he went to work for his father at the Albion Works, Salford.
Above. Showing the W.H. Bailey factory in Salford, Manchester. W. H Bailey were makers of turret clocks, watches, patent steam pressure recorder, fusible plugs, steam pressure gauges, test pumps, steam pumps, ram pumps, regulating valves, pyrometers, barometers, fire engines, tide recorders, gas jet motors, lubricators & turnstiles, lifts, hoists, injectors, and boiler fittings
In 1865 William Bailey took over the company on his father’s retirement.The company changed name in 1876 to W. H. Bailey & Co. He entered the Salford Town Council in 1874 and was elected an alderman in 1880. The company name changed in 1889 to W. H. Bailey & Co Ltd. William then became Mayor of the borough in 1993 and was knighted by Queen Victoria on the royal yacht in 1894 - on the occasion of Her Majesty opening the Manchester Ship Canal. William died in 1913 when the company name changed again, this time it was Sir W. H. Bailey & Co Ltd. The company became a subsidiary of Yorkshire Metals in 1966 and subsequently went through further name changes until in 1978 it became IMI Bailey Valves Ltd
Above. Bailey's Illustrated and Useful Inventions. Seventeenth Edition (Circa 1880). Interestingly W. H. Bailey published many editions of their catalogue and they can be found widely advertised in technical journals and books of the time.
Edited by Chris McKay in 2017.