York’s Little Admiral

The Little Admiral - The Clocks of York

There are dozens of clocks throughout York, but this one is my favorite. The bracket is more ornate than most, and who can resist that little Admiral?

How can you not love him? Iron up to the knees with a carved mahogany body, he’s been standing on top of that clock since John Agar put him there in 1779. He’s survived several restorations, a few different paint jobs, and even a fire which burned his ass off in 1942. That’s one tough little Admiral.

Even after losing his backside and ponytail, and losing his original navigation instrument (which was probably a sextant or octant) he’s still standing over Coney St. looking at the stars. He might seem a little silly with that new-ish and completely useless triple crossed stick he’s holding, but he’s still trying.

I loved finding out that he’s been fully restored to his original glory. He had been frozen in place for over a hundred and fifty years, and silent for nearly seventy, but he now rotates slowly and always faces the sun just like he did in the eighteen hundreds, and his chimes are heard every fifteen minutes. I suppose we can’t blame the old caretaker for disconnecting the bells since he lived in the attached building and they kept him awake all night.

Now he’s the responsibility of the York Clock Group, which sends someone out to wind him up once a week.

You can click here to see a pre-restoration photo from just one year ago, including the old wooden “Father Time” face which had to be completely replaced with a new resin cast.

York was an overwhelming city, with so much history that it’s hard to comprehend all that’s happened there. Trying to make sense of it one little piece at a time makes it much more manageable, and doing a little bit of research after the fact fills in a more complete picture in my mind of this incredible little city. I think I could spend a life time there and never stop learning about it.

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About akil3655

A Scotsman and his American photographer wife traveling the world and writing about it. Tales, reviews, photos, interviews and crazy goings on. Because you never know what's going to happen.

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