Clapham Clock Museum – there’s time for all in this museum!
Whangarei, Northland, NZ is the site for this museum with a difference. It’s the biggest museum in the southern hemisphere devoted to clocks (I didn’t ask where large ones are in the Northern hemisphere – do you know? If so, add to the comments for the help of others interested in the topic)
This was the first place I visited during my Northland road trip in February 2012 and arrived just in time before it closed at 5pm and was fortunate to still get a guided tour around the 1400+ clocks: from a 1830 monastery clock; another from Germany in 1810 that has Scottish trumpeters on it, to another that has a dog’s tail as the pendulum, and Kiwiana hand carved pieces – this place has them all.
As I walked around, hearing about some of the fascinating pieces, the guide turned off many of the clocks, putting them to bed so to say: a way of prolonging their life I suspect. This is a museum with a difference – not one I’ve seen ever and would well-recommend it … and especially take the free guided tour … hearing the history of the collection and some of the clocks adds meaning to the visit.
The Mr Clapham who the museum is named after, left some 400 clocks to the local council when he died: since then the museum has been built and another 1000 time-pieces have been added to the collection. Dating from 1700, these clocks record not just the time, but record social history from all over the world.
The museum is open 9am to 5pm, seven days a week.