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HMC Dockyard Clock

George Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3J, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1981/10/28

HMC Dockyard Clock on monument at Chebucto Landing, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1998.; Halifax Regional Municipality, 1998.
Dockyard Clock on Monument at Chebucto Landing
HMC Dockyard Clock in its original location at the Hauser Stores, Halifax Dockyards, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1941. The "x" motif can been seen in a railing surrounding the base of the tower.; HMC Dockyard, base photographic section, CFB Halifax, Halifax, NS, 1941.
HMC Dockyard Clock on Hausers Stores
HMC Dockyard Clock on dockyard fire hall, Halifax Dockyards, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1986.; HMC Dockyard, base photographic section, CFB Halifax, Halifax, NS, 1986.
HMC Dockyard Clock on Fire Hall

Other Name(s)

HMC Dockyard Clock
Canada's Oldest Working Clock

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1767/01/01 to 1767/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/07/18

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The HMC Dockyard Clock is a handcrafted clock originally installed in a domed cupola on the Hauser Stores in 1772. The clock has been relocated three times, and its current location is on a monument at Chebucto Landing, at the Halifax Waterfront, Halifax, NS. The designation applies to the clock and monument only.

Heritage Value

The HMC Dockyard Clock is valued as Canada's oldest working clock, for its superb craftsmanship, and as the last tangible evidence of the original naval dockyard in Halifax.

Constructed by Aynesth Thwaites in Clerkenwell, London in 1767, the clock itself is a masterpiece of traditional craftsmanship. The clock was completely hand tooled; from its forged shafts to its filled gears. A two hundred and fifty pound weight drives its nine foot pendulum.

The clock’s original home, on the roof of the Hauser Stores, was demolished in 1941. The Stores were wooden structures used as naval warehouses for provisions and clothing. The clock was relocated to the HMC Dockyard Fire Hall that was constructed in 1943. The Fire Hall was demolished in 1986 and after a short period of storage, the Dockyard Clock was donated to Halifax Regional Municipality in an attempt to make this valuable piece of history more available to the public view. The clock and its domed cupola are the last remaining architectural fragments of the original eighteenth century naval dockyard.

The clock was relocated to a prominent monument situated at the foot of George Street on the Halifax Harbour, near the ferry terminal. There is value in this more modern structure as its design represents elements of its history, such as the "X” motif recalls the railing pattern on the original Hauser Stores. The clock is one of the few remaining relics of the Navy's early presence in Halifax which shaped the history of the city and its residents.

Source: HRM Heritage Property File George Street (in front of 5075) Canada’s Oldest Clock, found at HRM Planning and Development Services, 6960 Mumford Road, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of the HMC Dockyard Clock include:

- elements of its traditional craftsmanship including the handmade inner workings of the clock;
- original, handmade bell with its creation date of 1797 stamped into the metal;
- two hundred pound weight which drives its nine-foot pendulum;
- white-on-black clock face;
- clock's mounting in a domed cupola with a metal roof, and weathervane;
- location in a modern monument, the design of which incorporates elements of the Hauser Stores and Dockyard Fire Hall;
- location in a public space on the Halifax Waterfront.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Nova Scotia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NS)

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act

Recognition Type

Municipally Registered Property

Recognition Date

1981/10/28

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1994/01/01 to 1994/01/01
1767/01/01 to 1767/01/01
1772/01/01 to 1941/01/01
1941/01/01 to 1993/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Peopling the Land
Canada's Earliest Inhabitants
Governing Canada
Government and Institutions
Governing Canada
Military and Defence

Function - Category and Type

Current

Community
Public Art or Furnishings

Historic

Defence
Military Office

Architect / Designer

n/a

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

HRM Planning and Development Services, 6960 Mumford Road, Halifax, NS B3L 4P1

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

23MNS1004

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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