COOKE of York

NEWS! (latest on top)

Another ‘lost’ clock found.   During October 2020 a two train Cooke A-frame clock was auctioned at Gardiner Houlgate. Its setting dial explained that the clock had been originally in St Mary’s Church, Tenby, but had spent much of its life at Bochym, Cornwall.  Read more here.

Evidence of another clock by Barnard Cooke has been found by turret clock expert Chris McKay. Barnard Cooke was a brother of Thomas Cooke who worked with Thomas in York for a number of years before branching out into business in his own right in Hull. To read about the newly discovered clock, Click here

Thomas Cooke turret clock number 1.    We were contacted recently by AHS Turret Clock Group member Chris Pickford who told us about the fate of the bells which were installed with the clock at the school at Felling Chemical Works, Gateshead. This important clock was Cooke’s first, but it disappeared some time during the twentieth century. New information has recently come to light. Click here. 

A blue plaque for Thomas Cooke

Click here to read about the blue plaque which commemorates the life and work of Thomas Cooke which can be found on the outside of York Observatory in Museum Gardens, York. We were delighted to be able to attend the unveiling on a beautiful day in August 2019.

One of the clocks in our book used to be installed in the Stables building at Redlees Park, Isleworth, Middlesex. It has been classed as lost for some years; the only evidence of the Cooke mechanism was a memory of it in place about forty years ago. We weren’t sure of the type of clock; all we knew was that it was Cooke made, but signed (ie retailed) by Charles Frodsham (Clockmaker to the Queen at the time). Some photos of the mechanism have recently been traced, but its current whereabouts remain unknown. Click each image for a larger view.

Alston Town Hall’s 160th Anniversary. (Featuring the Cooke Clock!)  

Our book The Turret Clocks of T. Cooke & Sons of York.  A historical perspective 1807 – 1897  is available. To purchase a copy, go to our ‘Buy our Books’ page.


We have received excellent reviews from the following:

Horological Journal, November 2017

The Antiquarian Horological Society, March 2017

Clocks Magazine, February 2017

Borthwick Institute for Archives, University of York, December 2016 

Click the thumbnail below to see the cover.






Its scope includes:

1  Thomas Cooke, the early years, 1807 – 1836
2  Thomas Cooke, Optician, 1836 – 1855
3  Buckingham Works, 1855 – 1868
4  T. Cooke & Sons, 1868 – 1879
5  Liquidation and rescue, 1879
6  Partnership, 1880 – 1897
7  Thomas Cooke’s Turret Clocks
8  Cooke Turret Clocks made for the Trade
9  Cooke Clocks made for General Post Offices
10  Barnard Cooke, brother of Thomas
11  A historical perspective – legacy
12  Appendices:
      1a. Clocks for astronomers – telescope driving clocks, astronomical clocks and regulators.
      1b. Watches
      1c. Instruments, tools and telescopes – a very brief look                                                                  And more …..

Click the thumbnails below to see sample pages (low resolution).

For a glimpse of some Cooke products, click here.

We would be very pleased to hear from anyone who knows of the location of any Cooke clocks, or any of the other products made by the company – please email us on

A clock dealer in the South of England had a very attractive regulator clock by T. Cooke & Sons. This clock was originally sold from the Cooke’s London address – 31 Southampton Street, Strand, London. This was only operational for the few years between late 1862 and 1869.  

Turret clocks.  Click the thumbnails below for a larger view of some of the turret clocks made by the company.  

The following links give details of the company and their products:

Wikipedia – a brief outline.

Grace’s Guide – the website gives histories of many early engineering companies.

BBC news item about Thomas Cooke.

History of Pocklington – the area where Thomas Cooke was born.

The Science Museum – Cooke items in their possession.

‘In praise of Thomas Cooke’ – The Royal Observatory, Greenwich.

The Vickers Archive – home of most T. Cooke & Sons archives.