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Scarborough - South Cliff Clock Tower

Scarborough - South Cliff Clock Tower

A the turn of the last century the much of South Cliff was still open countryside with a selection of fine houses and villas enjoying the rural tranquility. One visitor to his summer residence was Alfred Shuttleworth (1843 to 1925} businessman and philanthropist who presented the Wren style stone clocktower to the town in commemoration of George V's coronation, 22 June 1911.

The clock itself was by the family of prolific clockmakers William Potts and Sons Ltd of Leeds and had to be regularly wound, on one occasion in the 1960's the ladder slipped and left a council employee trapped in the tower overnight. Shortly afterwards the movement was replaced by a synchronous electric motor.

Who actually designed the tower is something of a mystery. We know Shuttleworth used the services of the eminent architect Frank Tugwell but the tower is not in the Tugwell style.

In 1905 Shuttleworth had bought "Red Court" the orange brick property on the opposite the clocktower. Tugwell was commissioned to design the extensive additions to the rear which are worth seeing, as is the impressive monogramed stone tablet above the main door on the north wall. This fine Queen Anne style house was built by Bedford and Kitson in 1900

Although Shuttleworth spent most of his time in Lincon he was clearly confident enough of his eminence on south cliff to buy and demolish "Holbeck Hurst" built 1889, a Tugwell house sited on the adjacent corner which A.S felt spoilt his view to the south. This is the site of the Shuttleworth Garden. At one time the minature landscape built by corporation employees in 1937 had plants in scale with the buildings. Neglect and dull wit has allowed Hosters and other random plants to swamp the scene making a mockery of the original intent. Other areas of the garden were set out for the blind as a sensory trail, and bronze braille boards identified the plants. Alas now all gone. The gardens that descend the South Cliff are registered as an historic park and well worthy of exploration.

The terraces of flats proceeding North along the Esplanade are all impressive in scale if not always in style but they do exude a splendid air of faded grandeur. "Belvedere" is a building of interest, identified by the monogram OE on the gates. In recent times this was the home of Eric Olsen the shipping magnate.

The house was originally designed for George Lord Beeforth by a London architect Frederick W. Roper and built in 1885 by John Petch, one of a family most prevalent in Scarborough's construction industry. The asymmetrical double fronted Elizabethan style stone faced house with bow windows has steps in the front garden descending to a tunnel that leads under the road to a private garden

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