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Press Release
13 February 2014
Conservation work on 18th century Pyke Clock
at West Dean
West Dean College, Near Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 OQZ
Jonathon Kelly, Junior Conservator
Pyke Clock at West Dean
18th century Musical clock by George Pyke
at West Dean
Malcolm Archer, senior conservator
West Dean
A talented young clock conservator, Jonathon Kelly, is being given an opportunity to work on a
rare 18th century musical and mechanical clock by George Pyke at West Dean. The renowned
College has been commissioned to carry out conservation work on the clock which is
rumoured to have belonged to Marie Antoinette. A contemporary of the renowned
clockmaker, Charles Clay, Pyke was Clockmaker and Organ Builder to the Prince of Wales, and
appointed the first Organ Builder to King George IV. Jonathan Kelly, who has been offered a
place on the Clocks Conservation Programme at West Dean in September, has been
appointed Junior Conservator and will support West Dean specialist tutor, Malcolm Archer, to
restore the Pyke Clock – part of the collection held by Temple Newsam in Leeds - to full
working order.
The team of three will be led by Clocks Conservation Programme Leader, Matthew Read who
said; “Our course covers both practical and historic elements of horology. Not only do our
students get to design and make their own mechanical clock from scratch, they learn how to
apply historic context to their working decisions. The Pyke clock project is the perfect
opportunity to learn from an 18th century expert craftsman”.
The clock stands in excess of six feet and not only tells the time but also plays music, which
may have been composed by Handel, on a barrel organ. A vibrant mechanised village scene
includes dancing figures, moving animals and floating boats. On the hood of the clock stands a
cast figure of Mercury.
West Dean is an independent Higher Education College, run by charity The Edward James
Foundation, offering graduate and postgraduate programmes in Conservation (clocks, ceramics,
books, metals and furniture), Making Musical Stringed Instruments and Visual Arts, many of
which are validated by the University of Sussex. West Dean equips students with an advanced
level of practical skills that are highly sought-after by potential employers worldwide. Students
work on live projects as part of their professional training. It is this advanced level of practical
training that ensures rates of employment for West Dean students are high and many
graduates go on to work for the most prestigious organisations, both state owned and private,
in the world.
In recognition of the increasing difficulties in funding for postgraduate education the College
offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships for talented students who would not
otherwise be able to study at West Dean. A new annual scholarship, The Edward James
Foundation Anniversary Scholarship, to commemorate 50 years since it was established.
For further information and to request a full time programme prospectus please visit For further information on conservation services contact
[email protected]
Note to editors:
The conservation project team for the Pyke clock will be; Project Leader, Matthew Read,
West Dean College, Clocks Conservation programme leader; Senior Conservator, Malcolm
Archer, West Dean specialist tutor, and Junior Conservator, Jonathan Kelly, West Dean
Clocks Conservation student commencing September 2014.
West Dean College is an independent Higher Education College run by The Edward James
Foundation, an educational Charity No. 1126084 established in 1964. In addition to the full
time programme the College offers over 700 short courses in arts, crafts, gardening,
creative writing and music.
This project has been generously funded by the family of Raymond Burton, of Burton’s
Menswear who was incredibly supportive of Temple Newsam House during his life. In
addition, funding support has also been granted from The Pilgrim Trust
( and The Friends of Leeds Museums.
Temple Newsam House is a splendid Tudor Jacobean mansion, renowned as being the
birthplace of Henry Lord Darnley, Mary Queen of Scots’ infamous husband. The House
itself has over forty beautifully restored rooms and outstanding collections of fine and
decorative art, along with a changing exhibition programme and is set within an estate of
1500 acres of ‘Capability’ Brown landscape.
All photography is free to use for promotional purposes.
Any journalist interested in visiting the Gardens, attending a course or an event for news or
review purposes should contact the Press Office.
West Dean College is situated on the A286, six miles north of Chichester and six miles
south of Midhurst.
For further information and high-resolution digital images, please contact:
Penny Smith, Media Relations Manager, +44 (0)1243 818301
[email protected]
Irene Caswell, Media Relations Officer, +44 (0) 1243 818280
[email protected]
West Dean College, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 OQZ
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