John C Taylor

The Chronophage


Corpus Chronophage


When I was helping redesign the Corpus Christi College I didn’t want to create anything that had already been done before, so I took the idea of a grasshopper escapement that had been designed by John Harrison and made it much bigger.

The Corpus Chronophage clock was unveiled in 2008 by the world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking and it’s been a huge source of fascination ever since.

Protected by six patents and using a completely unique mechanism, it is a fully functioning mechanical clock that shows the time without using hands.

The Corpus Chronophage is usually surrounded by a crowd of admirers – several million people a year come to see it and it is now the most popular tourist attraction in Cambridge.

Adults appreciate the level of artistry, workmanship and humour that have gone into the clock’s creation. The ripples on the clock face, which depict time expanding from the centre of the universe after the Big Bang, urge them to contextualise their own existence.

The Tour passes the Corpus Chronophage

The Tour passes the Corpus Chronophage

The clock is equally popular with children who are fascinated by the unpredictable behaviour of the creature on top of the clock. The creature will snap its mouth, blink and don’t forget to keep an eye on its tail.

The fact that the clock is admired and appreciated by so many people is a huge source of personal satisfaction.

Please be aware that the Corpus Chronophage Clock in Cambridge will be out of view until Sunday January 10 2016 in order for routine maintenance to take place.  We apologize for any inconvenience caused and thank you for your interest in this iconic clock.

Interesting Facts

Between 1912 and 1948, art competitions were a part of the Olympics. Medals were awarded for architecture, music, painting, and sculpture.

Latest News

New Royal Academy of Engineering Centre Named after Dr John C Taylor OBE

The Royal Academy of Engineering has opened the new Taylor Centre, a space for the Academy’s Enterprise Hub, which supports entrepreneurs, and which is named after one of Britain’s most successful engineers, Dr John C Taylor OBE. Dr Taylor, who is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng) made his name creating small electrical components that are vital to many pieces of technology we couldn’t live without. Early electric kettles would not turn off when the water was boiling, meaning that they needed constant supervision and were in danger of melting and starting fires if they were not… read more

Interesting Quotes

To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.

Elliott Erwitt