Beds, Herts & Bucks

Pyghtle Clock returns to Bedford after more than 100 years

The Pyghtle Clock Image copyright Bedford Borough Council
Image caption The Pyghtle Clock was manufactured in 1901

A rare clock is returning to Bedford after more than 100 years.

The Pyghtle Clock, named after the joinery firm in the town that made it in 1901, has been acquired for the Cecil Higgins Collection.

Designed by Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott, an architect of the Arts and Crafts movement, it is said to be an important record of his time in the town.

The council said it was an example of "Bedford's rich history of craftsmanship".

Bedford Borough councillor Sarah-Jayne Holland, who is responsible for leisure and culture, said: "The Higgins Bedford is proud to host this important piece, as part of our work to tell the stories of Bedford's local residents coupled with art works of international importance."

'Successful partnership'

The Arts and Crafts movement developed in the late 19th Century and advocated a return to traditional crafts as opposed to industrial manufacture.

The mantle clock, which stands about 51cms (20ins) high, was bought from a private collection with the help of funding from the Art Fund and the ACE/V&A Purchase Grant Fund.

Baillie Scott (1865-1945) lived and worked in Bedford for 12 years and wrote and published his book Houses and Gardens in the town in 1906.

Much of his furniture was produced in Queens Park at The Pyghtle Works, owned by his friend, the cabinet maker John Parish White (1855-1917) in a "highly successful" partnership of designer and craftsman, the council said.

The clock will be on permanent display alongside the work of Baillie Scott's contemporaries in the Charles Wells Gallery of Design at The Higgins Bedford.

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