Irish Horology Needs

The history of horology – clocks, sundials, watches etc. is poorly documented in Ireland.

Early clocks

Although Ireland was hardly touched by the renaissance, there must have been monastic clocks in in the country prior to the reformation. By comparison there is documentary evidence ten ecclesiastic clocks in Wales before the 1650s. Much of the information about early clocks in Europe comes from contemporary writing  – poems, chronicles and letters.


Kilmalkedar monastic dial

There are several extant early Irish monastic sundials and a couple previously recorded but now “missing”.

The Kilmalkedar monastic sundial in the Dingle peninsula is similar to Welsh examples. There must be more to discover in early monastic sites in Ireland.

If you know of the existence of an Irish sundial contact Michael J Harley or go to the Sundials in Ireland web-site

Read more about Ancient Irish Monastic sundials



Records of Irish Watch and Clock Makers

John Finney and William BarkerThe relationship of Irish clock making to English is confused and poorly documented.

Although many early clock and watch makers served apprenticeships in London and followed London styles, the links with Lancashire and Cheshire are surprisingly strong.

We will be adding a page of previously unknown or undocumented Irish clock makers, watchmakers and retailers so if you are aware of any Irish makers please let us know.


4 comments on “Irish Horology Needs
  1. Jim Rooney says:

    The 1901 and 1911 Irish Census Records list 36 Clockmakers and 690 Watchmakers in Ireland in 1901.
    For 1911 their records show 36 Clockmakers and 634 Watchmakers.

    If anyone is interested in any of these records go to the census website,
    you can search for specific names or click the (More search options) button and put watchmaker or clockmaker in occupation box and hit search.

  2. nigelb says:

    Well spotted Jim, Valuable source of information – pity its only the 1901 and 1911 census returns – I found some distant Zipfel relations in Dublin in both census years.

  3. Clonmel says:

    A chairde does anyone know anything about French Comtoise (Morbier) clocks in Ireland? Donal

Leave a Reply