3. The Astronomical Clock
One of the oldest medieval clock faces in the world (c1390). On the quarter hour, jousting knights go round in tournament while Jack Blandiver (right) chimes the bells.
Dating from about 1392, this is the second oldest working mechanical clock in the world, and the oldest with a clock face.
The hour is marked by a large gold sun pointer against the outer diameter of Roman numerals. It is a 24-hour clock, and in keeping with the Medieval view of the Universe, the Sun goes around the Earth against a fixed sphere of stars. Within the second circle, the minute hand is a smaller star pointer. This is a seventeenth century addition to the clock. The innermost ring shows the number of days since the last new moon, indicated by a crescent moon pointer. In the disc, the phase of the Moon can be seen. It is entirely blue for a new moon and entirely gold for a full moon.
Every quarter hour, the jousting knights gallop around the turret above the clock face. The same one has been knocked down for over 600 years! Above and to the right, the large figure of Jack Blandiver kicks the quarter bells with his heels and strikes the hour bell with the hammer he holds.
The Lord of Time and Eternity
Below the clock is the figure of Christus Redemptor. (Christ the Redeemer) carved from Yew by E. J. Clack in 1956. The figure shows Christ in three forms, as crucified, risen from the dead and ascending to heaven. He stretches out his arms of love for the whole world.