Site Unseen: Clock Winston in the City: A weekly look at London's hidden gems

Click to follow
Indy Lifestyle Online
London has some wonderful clocks. There is the Big Ben clock, of course, but also the clock high up on Hawksmoor's church of St Anne's, Limehouse, and the one sticking out from St Magnus the Martyr church in the City. This clock originally stood over old London Bridge and was installed in 1724 by a Thomas Duncombe to speed up tardy apprentices on their way to work.

Another wonderful example is the clock attached to the old Financial Times building in Cannon Street in the City. It was built in the late Sixties in appropriate pink brick to match the colour of the newspaper.

The FT's then proprietor, Brendan Bracken, was a long-time crony of Winston Churchill. He had stuck by Churchill throughout the latter's wilderness years and was determined the new building should incorporate a tribute to Britain's wartime prime minister. Architect Sir Albert Richardson, who also created the plastic spire which stands on top of St James Piccadilly, obliged, and for good measure surrounded the face of Churchill with astrological signs.

The Financial Times has since moved and at one time Bracken House was scheduled for demolition. It was saved from this unhappy fate by becoming the first post-war building in England to be listed as of architectural importance.

The sensitive refurbishment by architect Michael Hopkins for a Japanese company has naturally spared Winston Churchill, who still beams down on passers-by.

(Photograph omitted)

Comments