John C Taylor

The Chronophage


Corpus Chronophage


When I was helping design a clock for the Corpus Christi College undergraduate library, I didn’t want to create anything that had ever been done before.

The design is a homage to John Harrison who used a grasshopper escapement in the development of his sea clocks.  I took the idea of a grasshopper escapement that had been designed by the iconic horologist John Harrison and made it much bigger.

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

Protected by six patents and using a 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 prime visitor 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 ChronophageThe 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 move its tail, eating every 59th second at the end of the minute, so that you can never get it back.

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

Interesting Facts

Diamonds are actually unstable at surface temperature and pressure. Every diamond above ground is very, very slowly altering into graphite, another form of pure carbon.

Latest News

New Midsummer Chronophage Clock on display in the Isle of Man

There’s very exciting news for those in the Isle of Man.  You can see the wonderful Midsummer Chronophage clock on display in Douglas, there in time to see in the New Year! The spectacular clock, designed by the world-renowned inventor, philanthropist and Santon resident, Dr John C Taylor OBE, is now on display at the Isle of Man’s largest privately-owned bar and restaurant, 1886 in Regent Street, Douglas, Isle of Man. The huge mesmerising, gold-plated clock, measuring 1.5 metres (5 ft) in diameter, was conceived, designed and mostly manufactured on the Island. It is the second in a series of… 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