Find time to visit Gunby Hall’s ‘surreal’ clock exhibition.

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Coming soon to Gunby Estate Hall and Gardens in Spilsby is: ‘Harrison’s Garden’ – an installation of over 2,000 clocks by artist Luke Jerram.

There’s no need to rush to the exhibit, as it will be in place in the Gunby Hall basement from February 11 to June 4.

However, when you are free to visit, it will be time well spent – as visitors will be amazed by the installation of all manner of clocks of different shapes, styles, sizes and sounds!

This exciting and unique installation promises to be a spectacle for the eyes and ears.

The clocks are clustered to form patterns and shapes along the floors and surfaces – and set to different times, so that visitors will hear a musical delight of ticking, clicking and chiming throughout the day.

Artist Luke Jerram will exhibit his garden of Clocks at Spilsby’s Gunby Sstate Hall from February 11. Credit: National Trust.

“For me, Harrison’s Garden is an imagined landscape; a garden of clocks. It is a glimpse of a surreal fictional world or perhaps an image from one of John Harrison’s dreams. Like a garden, the installation is a living and growing collection of different clock species. ” Luke Jerram

The installation has taken inspiration from the clock maker John Harrison.

Harrison was born at Nostell Priory in 1693, the son of the estate carpenter and is known today as one of England’s greatest inventors for creating the marine chronometer, which made it possible to tell the time at sea.

Many of the clocks in this installation have been donated by the public, each carrying their own personal story and significance.

The touring art exhibit has been clustered into different clock species. Credit: National Trust.

How many times has each clock been glanced at by their owners, touched, moved, reset?

What important and mundane events have been prompted by the clocks’ alarms and chimes ringing out?

What might the art installation look like if the collection of clocks were assembled in another country or perhaps in hundred years time?

Jerram was inspired by John Harrison to create this ‘garden of clocks.’

With around 2,000 clocks in the installation so far, they have been clustered into species and form islands, pathways and borders. Some clocks seem like classics of their time, others are a pastiche, pretending to be classical clocks of a previous era. Some clocks are on the march, whilst others seem to be in conversation with one another.

ADD YOUR CLOCK HERE: Time is slowly ticking!!!

You can add to the ‘growing’ clock collection. Credit: National Trust.

There are carriage clocks, which presumably have been given to employees in their retirement, travel clocks, anniversary clocks, children’s clocks, digital alarm and wall clocks.

Clicking, ticking, the landscape of sound is beautiful, rhythmic and musical, but also at times unnerving. The installation seems alive, gently twitching.

In our current age, the measurement and structure of time seems more important than ever, but many of these analogue clocks seem to have lost their value, their function in part replaced by clocks on our mobile phones, computers and other digital technology.

The installation is perhaps a reminder that we are all here now, simultaneously moving through time together. Our time on this earth is limited and precious.

How much time have we lived; how much have we got left? Each with our own body clock, we calibrate ourselves each day through the man-made clocks which surround us.

Credit: National Trust

‘Harrison’s Garden’ has already begun to tour.

Having left Nostell Priory, then went to Castle Drogo a National Trust Property in Devon.

The artwork will be on display in Gunby Hall from February 11 to June 4.

Then it will travel to Penryn Castle, with donations from the public adding to the collection for each presentation, the installation of clocks is growing.

The different context for each presentation, affects how the artwork is interpreted.

Do you have any clocks similar to the ones you going to be exhibited? Do they bring back memories?

Luke Jerram, a creator of sculptures, installations and live arts projects across the globe, is excited to see Harrison’s Garden expand in size and sound as it spreads across historic National Trust spaces, with each place asking their local communities to donate 500 additional clocks.

Click image (above) to find more about evvents at Gunby Hall, Estate and Gardens. Credit: Gunby Hall Estate

Donate your clocks

Gunby Estate Hall and Gardens are keen to see as many clocks donated by the local community as possible.

If you would like to them a clock, please ring Astrid Gatenby on 01754 892991 or send her an email to:


Clocks need to have a ‘face and hands’ and preferably work. It doesn’t matter if the clock needs to be wound or is battery operated. Clocks can be any size and shape.

The installation will on display in the Gunby basement from 11 February to 4 June during normal house open days (not on Thursdays and Fridays).