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Epsom, a town situated in the county of Surrey, south-western
London. Maintaining significance due to its close relationship with those in
seats of power during Anglo-Saxon England and further-on, with royalty, even in
present times. This eventually allows the town to flourish to an established borough.
Epsom clock tower has remained in the position that it stands now in excess of
300 years, within close proximity of the markets at the town centre, yet it had
not always maintained it current form for those centuries. It’s mid-1600’s
Epsom spa and a newly constructed Watch-house stands over the markets, however
for 17th century Britain, the architectural style was still though
to be somewhat outdated as it resembled Anglo-Saxon architectural style, a
style which was nearing the end of its days along with vernacular architecture,
a style associated with farm-like, folk architecture as suggested by Frank Lloyd
Wright. The style made use of materials that were available on immediate demand
and locally, considering Vernacular style was more focused on function than
Aesthetics. Most commonly timber-frame constructions were utilised however in events
were resources such as these, were not available locally, mud and stone may
have also been utilised. Ultimately, the watch-house being built in this style
made sense as it was more about the buildings functionality and use. The
inhabitants of Epsom spa made use of this construct, where the functionalities were
split into two priorities part base for fire service and part provisional
jailing.

It has now come to mid-19th century and the town of
Epsom has been developed as have the neighbouring lands and there is no longer any
need for certain uses of the watch-house, so it is stripped bare for the sale
of its core materials alongside the time-piece that was once elevated above the
town and the Fire engine. In 1847 a premise had been set to rebuild in the form
of a clock tower, with a limit of 40 feet in height and conserve on cost to a
maximum of £350. Winners of the contract, were architects, Henry Hodge and
James Butler with their design towering at approximately 21 metres and the exposed
void at the top for the new time-piece at 1.3 metres. Principal materials were
to be composed of red/Suffolk brick and finishes to be applied to the outside aspects.
At each corner a sculptured lion comprised of Caen Stone a pale coloured
limestone discovered in France, once more an outdated feature was being used
however Caen stone had historical significance especially with religious buildings
within the European region, this may have been the reason for its use in this
design, considering even at this point religious communities had immense
influence on architectural styles. The newly designed clocktower showed clear
aspects of the Georgian style as well as the emerging Victorian style
presenting elements of Classicism, Gothic and Renaissance Revival, styles in
which the Palace of Westminster is designed in however with the progression of
the industrial revolution materials now considered for internal aspects of
structures consisted of iron and steel frames. 

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