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500 year old stolen time piece back on display in Bury St Edmunds

An historic time piece made close to 500 years ago and stolen from Moyse's Hall Museum half a century ago, is back on display.

The Drum Clock made in Prague in 1540  and part of the Gershom Parkington collection, was stolen during a break in at the former Clock Museum at 1 Angel Corner back in 1964.

The irreplaceable time piece was thought lost forever – that is until earlier this year when an auction house contacted the Council to say they had been offered the clock to sell. The Council was able to claim it back after negotiating a settlement fee of £4000 from the Gershom Parkington bequest with the current owner.


The piece was one of a few to be photographed for the original and first Benson Beevors catalogue of Gershom Parkington time pieces.

Now it is back on display at Moyse’s Hall Museum in Bury St Edmunds where all but two of the 162 Gershom Parkington collection of clocks can be seen alongside other local historical items.

Cllr Joanna Rayner, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture at West Suffolk Council which owns and manages the museum, said: “At 479-years-old, this is the earliest clock in our collection. It has had a remarkable journey during its time and having been stolen 55-years-ago I think it’s fair to say all hope was lost in ever getting it back. We are extremely grateful to the auctioneers for spotting this as our stolen clock and contacting us so that we could arrange to get it back and put it back on display alongside other fascinating time pieces from the Gershom Parkington collection.”


All but two of the collection are on display at the museum. Of the remaining, one is Long Case Clock which would require the Museum to reinforce its floors. The other is a William Clement Clock which doesn’t work while we already have one of Clement’s long case clocks on display. Both are available for loan and the Council continues to look for ways to make this publically available to view.