Time is no longer standing still at Bathurst Courthouse after the restoration of its 138-year-old clock.
Attorney General Mark Speakman said the 500kg timepiece, which sits in the front of the grand, triple-height entrance portico, has been returned to its former glory.
“The courthouse is one of the finest public buildings in NSW and to have the clock working is, hands down, a win for the people of Bathurst,” Mr Speakman said.
Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said Bathurst locals would be pleased to see the clock working again after years of being non-operational.
“Master craftsmen have been working behind the scenes to bring the clock back to life and this investment showcases our historic Courthouse,” Mr Toole said.
Master Clockmakers Pty Ltd, the last surviving firm to make handmade clocks and watches to order in Australia, has delivered the project.
The clock was supplied by celebrated horologist Angelo Tornaghi during the construction of the courthouse in 1880. With Doric columns, an imposing portico, colonnade and copper-sheeted dome, the courthouse’s exceptional heritage significance is recognised on the NSW State Heritage Register.
The courthouse, designed by Colonial Architect James Barnet, is undergoing $6.43 million worth of other major conservation works, including:
- repairing sandstone, copper, metal, leadwork and wood elements;
- replacing a deteriorated sandstone cornice at the base of the copper dome;
- restoring 27 chimneys; and
- maintenance of the copper-clad bell tower.
The restoration project is jointly supported by the Department of Communities and Justice and the Minister’s Stonework Program (MSP). The MSP is administered and delivered by the Department of Regional NSW’s Public Works Advisory in collaboration with Heritage Stoneworks in the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.