Landmark & Views

The Chamberlain Clock & the Warstone Lane Cemetery

England / Europe

The Chamberlain Clock is an Edwardian clock made in cast iron and was erected in 1903 to celebrate Joseph Chamberlain’s tour of South Africa as Secretary of State for the Colonies, between landing in Durban on 26 December 1902 and leaving from Cape Town on 25 February 1903.  It was unveiled by Chamberlain’s 3rd wife, Mary Crowninshield Endicott.  It stands at the junction of Vyse Street and Frederick Street (where Chamberlain had lived).  Amongst his many achievements for the city, Chamberlain helped the many jewellers in the area by getting the Plate Tax abolished.  The clock was restored in 1990 and in 2020, returning to this site on 20 March 2021.  It bears the motto: ‘We have shown that we can be strong and resolute in war; it is equally important to show that we can be strong and resolute in peace.’

The nearby Warstone Lane Cemetery dates from 1848.  It was originally reserved for members of the established Church of England, though other denominations were also buried here, the last internment taking place in 1982.

Amongst those buried here is John Baskerville (1706-75) after whom Baskerville House in Centenary Square is named.  A major feature of the cemetery are the two tiers of Catacombs, which have been described as small, but beautifully formed.   These were not the burial places of the rich, but within them lie many poor people of Birmingham who died in the 19th century, due to overcrowded and often squalid living conditions.


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Medal Sponsor

A medal was purchased for this point by: The Weston Foundation