Postcard c.1920 showing the clock face which was removed. The only one like it can be seen at St. Giles, Stony Stratford. We do not know if the clock maker E.J. Dent had connections with the area as his workshop was in London.


"As far as I can ascertain the earliest reference to a clock at Thornton Church is in Sheahan's 'History and Topography of Buckinghamshire' 1862 p. 314. It is not mentioned in Lipscombe's History part five published in 1843.

The clock bears the name E J Dent London on the side of the clock on a brass plate frame facing the 'window'. Edward James Dent of 61 Strand, 33 Cockspur Street and 34 Royal Exchange was the maker of the clock for the Houses of Parliament (usually erroneously known as Big Ben). He did not start to make turret clocks until 1844 when he built the clock on the old Royal Exchange, and he died in 1853. The name then changes as business was split between the two stepsons Frederick and Richard. In 1877 his successors produced a booklet listing some of their 'Tower Clocks' but although this includes Stony Stratford, the church at Thornton is not mentioned.

See 'Edward John Dent and his successors' - Mercer 1877.

From this it would seem that the clock was probably made between 1844 and 1853 and in the absence of any further information could probably have been installed in 1850 when the church was restored."

(from a letter from Edward Legg to Bryan Egan 3rd December 2001)