Saturday, August 7, 2010

HRM Point of Interest #11: The Town Clock

Located on the east face of Citadel Hill, The Town Clock (sometimes known as the Old Town Clock, or Citadel Clock Tower) was built under the orders Prince Edward, Duke of Wales, then the commander-in-chief of all military forces in British North America. Purportedly, Prince Edward built the clock because he was sick of the British garrison at Fort Gary (The Citadel) being so tardy all the time. In their defence, none of the soldiers were paid well enough to afford a watch. (As an aside, one of the additional roles of the bag pipers at the Fort was to play specific tunes at different times throughout the day, so that the watchless infantry would know what time it was.)

The Clock Tower was built in the classic Palladian style of Venetian architect Andrew Palladio, which was a favourite of The Prince. It began keeping time for the garrison on October 20, 1803. It's mechanisms are wound by Citadel employees twice a week, but for some reason the clock seems to chime on the half-hour whenever I have been in the vicinity.

The Clock Tower was the inspiration for the character "Chimney" in the wonderful children's television program Theodore Tugboat.

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