Albert Road Gate Clock Tower

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Standing proud at the heart of Plymouth’s naval base for over 120 years, Devonport Dockyard’s iconic clock tower is a prominent part of the city’s history. Originally built in 1896, its clock has served many important purposes during its lifetime, with its chimes once marking the start and end of working shifts, as well as providing a home to messenger pigeons during the First and Second World Wars.

However, the clock tower was in need of repairs and vital maintenance to ensure it continued to stand the test of time. As a long-term trusted provider to the defence sector, and serving as Principal Contractor for the leading global defence engineering organisation, Babcock, we led the sensitive restoration works; which included working across its four clock faces and finial.

With any interruptions to the daily working schedule of the Dockyard having the potential to cause a severe negative impact to operations, aspects of the works were carried out at weekends. This included utilising cranes to safely remove items for repair, such as the tower’s standout finial.

The project required attention to detail, precision and skill to ensure the historic symbol of naval architecture remains protected for the long term, continuing to watch over the Dockyard, as well as the city.