Time gallery

concentric gold rings with a sliding mechanism in between

A pocket sundial

There are over 50 watches and six marine chronometers, on display in the Time gallery.

These items reflect both the importance of clock and watch-making, and of scientific instrument-making, in the Liverpool region in the 17th - 19th centuries. The gallery also explains the presence of an important astronomical and tidal observatory at Bidston, Wirral from which accurate time and tidal information was transmitted to sailors. Some important telescopes, clocks and tide prediction machines which formerly operated at Bidston are now in our collection.

Gallery highlights:

  • a Bond astronomical regulator clock made in Boston, USA about 1867, used for timekeeping at Bidston Observatory;
  • an 8-day musical striking long case clock with metal dial by Joseph Finney of Liverpool, c. 1770;
  • a clock by Robert Molyneux of London, c. 1843, made for the new Liverpool Observatory, with a mercury compensation pendulum;
  • a skeleton clock by Thomas Condliff of Liverpool, made for the International Exhibition of 1867;
  • and a wooden-cased workshop clock by Thomas Tompion, c. 1695, which is believed was used to adjust watches.

Online feature

Have you ever wondered why we have seasons or how sundials work?   Find out in our Sunbeams and Sundials online feature.