The History of the Clock

The History of the Clock

Familiar to all who pass by on the A428, the clock at Turvey Abbey with its 4 foot dial has been part of Turvey Village for the last 220 years.

In the 1790’s When John Higgins inherited Turvey Abbey and its estate from his uncle, Charles Higgins of Weston Underwood, he set about improving his new home. Apart from what he describes as ‘repairs’ to the Abbey, we would call it major refurbishment, he rebuilt his stables, created a carriage drive and built an imposing building with a clock that would be seen by his visitors as they arrived from the Bedford direction.

The clock is a two train cage clock, which means it has a going-time side and an hour-strike side. The inside dial bears the name ‘William Fidget 1801’.

John Higgins painted water colours of his new buildings and his estate. Remarkably these paintings have survived to the present day, and by the kindness and generosity of the Revd. John Longuet-Higgins, the Longuet-Higgins family archives have been made available to Turvey Village and can be found on the Turvey History Society website.
Whilst a first class portrait painter, John Higgins had some trouble with perspective in his paintings of his estate!

The Clock

click / tap to enlarge images

Brand House and Clock, early morning in June
Brand House and Clock seen from the field across the road, circa 1820—when the yew tree was still small!
Brand House and clock circa 1820, John Higgin’s coach can be seen through the open garage door.

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