Machynlleth Town Clock
This clock is a landmark in the centre of Machynlleth. It was built by the residents of Machynlleth to celebrate the coming of age of the eldest son of the Fifth Marquess of Londonderry, who lived at Y Plas. Charles Stewart Vane-Tempest, who was Viscount Castlereagh, turned 21 on 16 July 1873, but family bereavement put paid to the planned celebrations. A year later, on 15 July 1874, the clock’s foundation stone was laid amid general fesitivities.
Architect Henry Kennedy, of London, designed the tower. It was built by Edward Edwards, a local builder. It was made mostly of stone from Tremadog, near Porthmadog, complemented by red sandstone from Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. The tower stands 24 metres high, to the base of the weathervane.
Previously this site was occupied by the town hall, which the writer George Borrow visited in 1854. He chronicled his tour of Wales in a popular book, called Wild Wales. Borrow described the town hall as an “old-fashioned-looking edifice supported on pillars”, located in the middle of “a kind of market place”. He wrote: “Seeing a crowd standing round it, I asked what was the matter and was told that the magistrates were sitting in the town hall above, and that a grand poaching case was about to be tried.” Borrow recorded that the defendant was found guilty of spearing a salmon and fined £4, including costs.
With thanks to David Wyn Davies, author of Machynlleth Town Trail
Postcode: SY20 8AE