The historic Chamberlain Clock in Birmingham’s famous Jewellery Quarter is set to be taken down for an extensive restoration process.

The clock tower was erected in 1903 to commemorate local politician Joseph Chamberlain’s visit to South Africa as Secretary of State for the Colonies.

It was last repaired in 1989 and has not told the time for some years, though a £150,000 restoration fund looks set to change that. It is expected that the clock will be back in place early 2021, after it is removed 22 August.


The project was a winning pledge in the Jewellery Quarter Business Improvement District’s (JQBID) 2017 renewal proposal.

The project, led by the Jewellery Quarter Development Trust (JQDT), has been funded by the JQBID and the Jewellery Quarter Townscape Heritage project (JQTH), a National Lottery Heritage Fund scheme.

Smiths of Derby, a clockmaking business since 1856, will undertake the restoration. This will include cleaning work, painting and repairs to both internal and external components.

Thomas Wildish, Chair of the JQDT says: “The Chamberlain Clock has stood tall as a Birmingham landmark since 1903. The JQBID made a pledge to levy payers in 2017 to refurbish the clock and it’s crucial that promise is delivered.

“The project has been made possible through the generous contribution of our business community through JQBID, as well as the funding provided by the JQTH, through the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

“As part of the refurbishment, it’s crucial we acknowledge the history of the clock. Joseph Chamberlain is well known for his positive impact on the city, yet more needs to be explored about his role in government and the British Empire.

“It’s for this reason we’ll be installing a new information panel, to share his history further with current and future generations.