London’s Timeless Charm: Fortnum & Mason Clock Tour by Black Cab

The Fortnum & Mason Clock London 37

The Jingle Jangle Charm of Fortnum & Mason

Take a ride around the buzzy heart of the UK town in one of London Sightseeing Taxi Tour’s luxurious black cabs , and there’s one splendid sight you won’t want to miss — the Fortnum & Mason Clock. Playing host to an utterly regal history and an enchanting display of London’s glory, this magnificent timepiece is truly an underrated jewel of the city’s treasures.

A Clock that Chimes a Melody of History

Nestled above the grand entrance of London’s treasured department store — the upscale Fortnum & Mason, the clock is a majestic beauty that stands tall at 10 feet and weighs in excess of four tonnes. Commissioned in 1964 by the then owner, W. Garfield Weston, this ornamental clock tells more than just time.

Cradling 18 bells, cast at the renowned Whitechapel Bell Foundry— the same foundry that had the honour of casting the bells for Big Ben — the Fortnum & Mason clock chimes every 15 minutes. As it chimes, it plays a symphony of 18th-century airs that serve as a charming reminder of the city’s rich history and love for grandeur.

A Royal Bow at the Top of Every Hour

But the visual and acoustic spectacle doesn’t end with the chimes. At the top of every hour, the clock unfolds an enchanting show. A pair of four-foot-tall figures, depicting the two co-founders of the shop — William Fortnum and Hugh Mason, emerge. In a moment that seems frozen in time, the two figures honour each other with a bow. It’s a spectacle that draws onlookers from near and far, wrapping them in a moment of pure London elegance.

The Legacy of Fortnum & Mason

Fortnum & Mason has come a long way since its establishment as a small shop in St. James’s Market. William Fortnum began his humble journey as a footman in the household of Queen Anne. Interested in business, he ventured selling food and household goods as a side hustle. Teaming up with his landlord, Hugh Mason, they banded to birth the first Fortnum & Mason store in 1707.

The modest shop gradually grew, eventually expanding to become the grand neo-Georgian building marking London’s cityscape today. In 1951, its ownership was passed onto the hands of Canadian businessman W. Garfield Weston. Demonstrating a deep respect for the store’s history and its founders, Weston commissioned the elaborate mechanical clock as a tribute.

Experience the Charm with London Sightseeing Taxi Tours

Experience the magic of this iconic location with London Sightseeing Taxi Tours . Feel the pulse of the city, embrace its grandeur, and fall in love with its charm as you ride around in our comfortable black cabs. The Fortnum & Mason Clock is but one of the many gems that await you on our tour. For those who wish to witness the elegance of London’s past and present, our sightseeing taxi tours offer an unforgettable journey.

Famous for its Royal Warrant and splendid afternoon teas, Fortnum & Mason is the epitome of London’s historical and cultural richness. While the store graciously serves the city’s residents and curious tourists, its clock stands as a silent sentinel marking time and narrating the undying spirit of London. Experience it all with London Sightseeing Taxi Tours!”

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