Chester Town Hall Clock Tower – Chester, England - Atlas Obscura

Chester Town Hall Clock Tower

The western face was supposedly left clock-less to snub the Welsh. 


This stately building towers above the city center of Chester, England. If you take a good look at the clock tower, you’ll notice something’s a bit off. Only three of its four sides have clocks.

The west-facing side of the tower remains blank. As this wall faces Wales, local legend says the reason for its missing clock was because “Chester won’t give the Welsh the time of day.”

The supposed snub may be because of an old rivalry, as the English city is right over the border from Wales. It isn’t the only bit of lore hinting at ill will between the Chester and its neighboring country. There’s also an urban legend about a medieval law saying that any Chester resident may shoot a Welshman with a longbow if he loiters within the city walls after sunset. Thankfully, this supposed law is not acknowledged, and shooting anyone is illegal.

The town hall was ceremoniously opened in 1869 by Edward VII, who at the time was the Prince of Wales. The three clock faces were installed a century later, in 1979. The clock tower was loosely based on the Cloth Hall in Ypres.

Know Before You Go

The clock tower is located on Chester Town Hall. You'll find it on Northgate Street in the city center. It's a roughly 15-minute walk from the train station.

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