Rectory Clocks

Clock repair and restoration

A professional member of the British Horological Institute


This is the word most commonly thought of and used when clocks are brought in for servicing. A definition might be:

“The mending, replacement or adjustment of a mechanism.”

The concept of repair is usually applied more frequently to work carried out on contemporary clocks of a more modest quality. However, one must always remember that even such clocks in years to come will form part of our horological heritage! .


The more general definition of restoration as it applies to horology is:

“The restoration of the clock to a condition that reflects the original maker’s intention and the clocks subsequent age and history.”

So for example, this might include the sympathetic correction of all mechanical faults and wear, being mindful of the original techniques used in the clock’s construction.


The conservation of old and valuable items has become very important in recent years. In the field of horology the conservator would only undertake those actions that were necessary to preserve the clock in a condition that represents the work of its original maker and the clocks subsequent history at the hands of successive owners and repairers. These actions would only seek to prevent further deterioration of the mechanism by removing rust and verdigris for example.


The concept of “reversibility” is important in both conservation and restoration. It states that wherever possible any work undertaken, be it adjustment, repair or replacement, shall be such that the cock can be returned to its original state if necessary. Although it may not always be possible, it is an important principle for all horologists to keep in mind.