The New College Clock – 175 years overdue

To mark the 175th anniversary of the founding of New College, we’ve remedied what our predecessors didn't get around to, and installed a magnificent clock.

Colour image of the New College Clock

Why no clock?

Situated high up on the Mound on Edinburgh’s iconic skyline, New College enjoys a commanding position across the city centre. When the building was originally designed by renowned architect William Playfair, it included two framed stone roundels in the east tower: one to the north facing Princes Street, and another facing east towards the Royal Mile. Most probably, these were designed to house the faces of a mechanical clock.  However, when the building went over budget by £5,000, however – almost £600,000 in today’s money – the project was shelved.

175 years later we commissioned Smith of Derby to design the clock for New College, which has now been fitted onto the famed stone roundels of the east tower.  It will operate electrically with the latest timekeeping technology.

The New College Bell

For the 175th anniversary, Smith of Derby have also restored the New College Bell, that until recently used to ring out from the bell tower inside the Quad, to mark lecture hours.

Together, the New College Clock and Bell enhance our iconic building and mark the 175th anniversary and the passing of time in fine style.

The installation of our clocks has been made possible by a generous donation from alumnus and friend Robert A. Funk.


We would also like to extend a huge thank you to Andrej Zeman for capturing this event in such a beautiful way. Andrej is one of our PhD student who loves photography.  For more of his work please see his website below.

Zemi Photography