Friday 31 January 2014

Versatile Victorians

One of the things I love about Victorian builders and designers was their ability to merge the functional with the decorative. 

The Beacon clock tower at Customhouse Quay in Greenock is a fabulous example of this.  Designed by local marine artist William Clark (1803-1883) and erected in 1868, it is wonderful to look at and also contains features essential to its position on a busy quay.  I'm only going to describe some of them and leave the others for another day.  Let's start at the top -

weather vane

fog bell
fog light


 This picture shows the Beacon as it was in 1878.

(The photograph comes from the book  "Greenock From Old Photographs" (ISBN 950068713)by Matt Anderson and Joy Monteith, published in 1980 by Inverclyde District Libraries.)

The Greenockian


  1. i want to know how you took those shots without feeling totally drunk. seriously. it looks like you are looking straight up ... maybe my inner ear is too silly ... but i can only imagine. i appreciate the views. love the clocks. enjoy the history too. have a lovely weekend. ( :

    1. I was looking straight up - couldn't stay that way for long!

  2. Highly functional and yet beautiful!

  3. Wow. I love how it is so multi-functional.
    And the perspective with the regular street lamps is amazing.

  4. It you had not told us, I would have missed some of the functioning parts of the column. It is beautiful.

  5. The Victorians! How much I admire them!

  6. What an intriguing beacon which has been so well maintained. I am particularly fond of that era, both the art and the architecture!

    Genie (the other Genie)

  7. This is great. And I particularly like the fact that you've included a photo showing what it used to look like.


Your comments are very welcome.