A Short History of William Haycock Ltd

Ashbourne was for long a centre of clockmaking. During the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries there were about five separate concerns making clocks in the town. The Ashtons, Harlows, Davenports and Ellebys have now passed into history and only the Haycock business remains today.

We celebrated our first 150 years in clockmaking in 1976, but in fact the roots of our business go back to 1740 when Joseph Harlow established a clockmaking business in the town

William Haycock 1837-1904
The Haycock brothers John and Thomas worked with Thomas Harlow grandson of the above Joseph, and took over the business in 1826 which they then proceeded to run in their own name.

The firm originally carried on business in Compton a part of Ashbourne, but in 1860 built a new works in Station Street. There not only were domestic clocks made but turret clocks and general brass and iron founding as well. Thomas Haycock's son Thomas junior conducted this business until his death in 1906 whereupon this branch of the Haycock clockmakers closed down.

Church Street Works

Meanwhile his younger brother William was established in his own business in Church Street and the Market Place having left his brother in about 1865. A move was made to the present Southcliffe works in 1897.

William Haycock died in 1904 having established a reputation as a capable craftsman and a man of great integrity. The firm still trades under his name and is run by his direct descendants.

Both the firms of Thomas Haycock & Son and William Haycock were noted makers of skeleton clocks. They may be considered as representing their finest work from the Victorian era. Many of the original patterns are retained at our works.

Southcliffe Works 1898