The Jubilee Clock Tower
The clock tower was erected as the 'Jubilee Clock Tower' to commemorate Queen Victoria's golden jubilee.
The building costs were raised by public subscription, and the foundation stone was laid by the mayor, William Fletcher, on 6th September 1887. Lord Grimthorpe was instrumental in the design of the clock which was based on Big Ben.
The chimes were donated in 1890 by Alfred Tolhurst and were possibly those from the old Rosherville clock tower. The brick-built tower was faced in Portland stone with bands of Dumfries stone, and originally had four gas lanterns at the base.
Additional info supplied by David Tolhurst
The design of the bells is on page 81 of the book mentioned below. There was room for only three bells though Alfred Tolhurst was willing to provide an octave. Lord Grimthorpe advised on the installation. Messers Warner of Cripplegate cast the bells. There was a competition for the design of the bells. Alfred Tolhurst picked the person chosen by the Council a visiting engineer. The
architect was Mr J. Johnson, and the builder, Councillor Archer.
More information about the Clock Tower and Alfred Tolhurst can be seen in the book "Alfred Tolhurst, The Life and Times of a Victoria Entrepeneur" by Bill Hudson and David Tolhurst. Price £10 + pp.
The area around the Clock Tower has recently been renovated. This includes the re-instatement of columns and balconies on either side of Berkley Crescent.
Also replacement of the pavement in the immediate vicinity by old style blocks, with stone curbs. As well as this there are now new 'old fashioned ' street lights around the tower.