Back in Time: Market Square – but where is the clock?

Market Square, Aylesbury, 1866
Market Square, Aylesbury, 1866

This is an unusual photograph of Market Square because there is something missing – the Clock Tower.

It probably dates from 1866 because that is when the square was cleared of its central buildings.

Samuel G Payne, Aylesbury’s most prominent photographer at the time, took the shot.

It must have been strange for Payne to see the square like this as he grew up with the old buildings.

A few years later local people were starting to make comments about the fact that there was no clock in the square so after a long period of discussions a design for a tower was approved.

Its location was very important as the time needed to be seen from all parts of the square.

With this in mind a central spot was chosen.

Today the clock is only visible from two corners of the square.

It is mostly obscured by trees which is a pity because it is a fine building and is supposed to be the focal point of the square.