Historical information

The clock was purchased from Jas Murray & Co. of 107 Bourke Street East, Melbourne by Francis Barnard. James Murray & Co were well known clock and watchmakers operating from premises in London with branches in Calcutta and Melbourne. They were watchmakers and jewellers in Melbourne from 1860 to 1888. Francis Barnard established Barnard’s Pharmacy on the corner of Bulleen Road (later renamed High Street) and Cotham Road in 1857. In the early 1860s, after purchasing the clock, he placed it in his pharmacy where it could be seen by passers by. When he relocated across the road to 49 Bulleen Road (now 167 High St.) in 1880 he took the clock to the new premises. He maintained the accuracy of the clock so that local residents consulted it for the correct time, even after the Post Office building with its clock tower was opened in 1888.
When Francis Barnard retired, his son took over the pharmacy. In 1925, the Barnard Pharmacy was sold to David Paton. The Paton’s were at first puzzled why people constantly peered in the door until they realised that the timepiece was the drawcard. When David Paton died in 1941, his widow sold the pharmacy but took the clock with her to her new florist shop at 145 High Street. When Mrs Paton retired in 1953, she took the clock to her home in Boronia. In 1973 her daughter donated the clock to the Kew Historical Society.


Significant locally to Kew as an example of a timepiece that was used by the local community during the 19th century to tell the time.

Physical description

Barnard’s clock is a typical wall clock of the nineteenth century, variants of which could be seen in shops, offices, public buildings and stations. It has a mahogany case with a moulded wooden bezel encasing a hinged brass bezel housing the glass face which protects the dial and hands when working. The clock face has an off-white hand painted tin dial with black painted Roman numerals. The hands are black painted metal; the hour hand has a wide spade shaped point whilst the minute hand is much thinner. ‘Jas Murray & Co’ is painted above the centre, with ‘107 Bourke Street East’ and ‘Melbourne’ below, with the key hole in between. The clock movement is a fuse chain attached to a brass mainspring barrel which powers the pendulum for eight days. This is housed within a rectangular wooden casing with a convex curved base housing a hinged door giving access to the pendulum which is attached to the back of the clock by four wooden pegs.

Inscriptions & markings

Jas Murray & Co / 107 Bourke St East / Melbourne