Whilst I was bimbling around Stratford-upon-Avon today, I noticed in the corner of my eye just how beautiful the American Fountain looked. The clouds seemed to be carpeting it, the flowers showing signs of how summer is here. It brought memories back from my childhood, that made me smile fondly today and look up and admire this stunning clock tower.
When I was a little girl, my family used to tell me that a giant lived in the clock tower and he watched over the town through the windows, keeping everyone safe. My parents told me it was bad manners to walk past without saying anything or knocking to greet the giant. So, every time I walked past the clock tower, I would knock on the door in the hope that I would meet the giant as I always wanted to thank him for keeping an eye on the town I love.
Obviously there is no giant, but whenever I walk past this fountain I always smile, remembering this story. Sometimes life is just too busy and we don’t get chance to stop and look at what is around us. But, today I spent some time re-living a tiny segment of my own history.
What is the real history behind this clock tower?
In 1887 the town was presented with this Shakespeare Memorial Fountain and Clock Tower (as it is officially known) by an American journalist George W Child’s of Philadelphia. The fountain was built to honour William Shakespeare and Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee and was revealed to the town by actor Sir Henry Irving.
The clock tower is Victorian Gothic in style and used to provide water to the town, but doesn’t anymore. It is constructed mainly from Peterhead granite and freestone. It resembles a small gothic cathedral of some sorts. It has its own set of bells which were designed by JA Cossin’s of Birmingham. Each side has a clock, where above each clock face, sits a caricature of a fairy from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Nevertheless, for me, it will always be the tower where the giant lives, who watches over the town. There’s something quite special about that for me. Do you have a place with a story from when you were a child?
Big love x