History of the Grandfather Clock

History of the song ‘My Grandfathers Clock’

Folklore has it that the famous song ‘My Grandfather Clock’ was inspired by the clock at the George Hotel at Piercebridge, located on the border of Yorkshire and County Durham. The hotel back then was a wayfarers’ inn and was owned and operated by two brothers called Jenkins. In the lobby of the inn was an upright longcase clock which kept perfect time, until one of the brothers died. After this sad event the clock lost time at an increasing rate, despite the best efforts of the hotel staff and local clockmaker to repair it. When the second brother died, the clock stopped completely, never to work again.

It is said that in 1875 when Henry Clay Work visited the George Hotel, he listened to the tales about the clock from the locals, and went on to base his song ‘My Grandfathers Clock’ on these stories.



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