The upper levels of the tower urgently need repair!
Join us in Taking Back Time next Spring. Help us restore them, with the unique Benjamin Vulliamy clock faces and mechanism, bringing time and heritage back to life at St. Barts.

Saving and preserving this wonderful landmark for the future.

The Clock

Chris McKay, Author of the Turret Clock Keeper's Handbook, says that our clock, which was designed and installed in 1833 by by Benjamin Vulliamy, is "quite unique".

The Vuliamy family was one of the most important London clockmakers for a century from 1750 to 1850, making clocks for successive monarchs. Benjamin Lewis (1780-1854), our architect's brother, was elected Master of the Clockmaker's Company five times between 1821 an 1847, and was clockmaker to King George IV, King William IV and Queen Victoria. Lewis supplied clocks to many government offices and royal palaces, but the firm also made a variety of beautiful range of timepieces and clocks for private houses.

The two clock faces are the original slate dials, mounted to the tower when installed with the movement. Mechanically, the clock is in very good condition, except for surface corrosion to both iron and brass work, so restoration and re-instatement should be straightforward.

The Project

We removed the clock faces some time ago as they had become dangerously unsafe. This June be began to: 

  • Restore the upper levels of the tower, internal and external, together with repairs to nave roof parapets, and dormer entrances. Install electricity and LED lighting within the upper levels. Dismantle the clock mechanism, along with dial motion, bell hammer & cranks, and display them to the public temporarily.
  • Removed the slate clock faces for conservation.

Soon the clock and faces will have been conserved and will be replaced within the newly restored tower. The clock faces (with automatic winding with battery back up, plus webcam) will be reconnected to the original mechanism for the first time in 50 years.

We had hoped to restore the bell at the same time. Unfortunately, the bell conservator is so busy this has had to be postponed until next year. Nearer the time we will consult with the local community about re-instating (limited) use of the chimes.

We will hold a series of events and lecture etc around the displayed clock mechanism and plan to develop a school project with teacher resources, freely available through our website. Because of the rarity of the clock mechanism our preferred contractor will offer an apprentice the opportunity of working on the project. 

Further Restoration

TAKING BACK TIME is one phase of a long restoration process and we have recently completed urgent work on the roofs and drainage of the Sacristy (Vicar's Vestry) and Choir Vestry with help from the Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund.

In the future we plan to:

  • Restore lower level masonry, timber and windows
  • Restore the under-used and dingy crypt, making it accessible for real community use.
  • Access: this project improves access between high tower levels, but reaching that point is still very difficult. We want to re-instate full internal access using old, lost, features and creating new ones to improve our ability to monitor and maintain this wonderful building for future generations to come.


Please DONATE HERE and help to keep St. Bart's running during these difficult times.

Shop with AMAZON SMILE and 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases will be donated to St. Bart's at no cost to the buyer.


Contact Us 



Total target for this project is £247,000.

We have already raised £226,000!

Raising just another £21,000  by next April means we can restore the upper tower levels, replace the clock dials AND restore and re-instate the clock mechanism and bell!

Thank You!


By BACS: CAF Bank Account, PCC of St. Bartholomew Sydenham, Sort Code 40-52-40, Account No 00030572. Please contact us re Gift Aid.

Cheque payable to PCC of St. Bartholomew Sydenham, posted to Peter Stubbs, PCC Treasurer, 7 Doctor's Close, Sydenham SE26 6DL.

St. Bartholomew's Restoration Appeal


Benjamin Vulliamy

Heritage & History

Remembering WW1

Art & Architecture

Local History

Family history

Southwark Cathedral


External Links

Sydenham Society

Crystal Palace Foundation

Frightful Accident at the Crystal Palace

National Gallery