Longcase clock in the Bernard Mason Clock Collection

Clocks (Colchester)

In 1927 Bernard Mason, a Colchester businessman, bought a clock made by Thomas Thorp of Colchester. This purchase sparked a lifetime’s obsession as he began to search for other clocks by Colchester makers. His wife, Evelyn, contributed to his research by examining parish registers, old newspapers and the Borough Records for other references and information.

Over the years, Bernard Mason’s collection grew and with it the story of these Colchester craftsmen was painstakingly pieced together. In 1969, the results of all his research were published in a book called ‘Clock and Watchmaking in Colchester’.

If you have an enquiry about a Colchester-made clock, you can email

Keeping Time

In 1979, Bernard Mason gave the clock collection to the people of Colchester and it has remained part of the museum’s collections ever since. The collection is significant because it is so comprehensive, including examples by almost all the clockmakers who had businesses in the town.

The Bernard Mason Clock Gallery

A small selection of the clocks Bernard Mason collected are now on display in Hollytrees Museum, including longcase, lantern and bracket clocks, as well as a selection of pocket watches.


Other Social History Collections

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