Family Group Sheet
Family Group Sheet
NameJames JOYCE
Birth1752
Death1817
FatherJohn JOYCE (1717-1787)
MotherDeborah SADLER (-1799)
SpouseSarah BARNETT
Birth1754
Death1808
Children
Birth1793
Death1861
Birth1783
Death1835
Birth1784
Death1843, Cheshire
Birth1791
Birth1792
Death1822
Birth1796
Birth1796
Death1843
Death1791
Death1757
Birth1786
Death1791
Notes for James JOYCE
3rd son. Described as watchmaker and malster in his will proved in 1818. Moved the family business from Cockshutt to Whitchurch.

William Joyce (his grandfather) began making grandfather clocks in the village of Cockshutt, North Shropshire in 1690. The business developed as a flourishing family concern, handed down through the generations from fathers to sons. In 1790, the firm moved to premises at 40 High Street. This building, with its cast iron frontage, stands opposite the present-day Civic Centre.

Among important innovations during the nineteenth century, Thomas Joyce diversified into the manufacture of large clocks for public buildings in 1834. During 1849 the firm was engaged in making a new design of gravity escapement, said to be ‘the greatest invention since the pendulum’.

The oldest-established maker of tower clocks in the world, JB Joyce and Co moved to their present purpose-built factory in Station Road in 1904. A member of the Smith of Derby Group since 1965, the firm enjoys a worldwide reputation as a maker of highest quality large clocks for installation in public places. They include municipal buildings, major railway stations, cathedrals and churches. The company also provides an extensive range of clock maintenance, repair and conservation services.

JB Joyce clocks in Whitchurch

The tower of St Alkmund’s parish church at the top of the High Street bears a Joyce clock, installed in 1977 to replace their previous clock of 1849.

The clock on St John’s Church, St John’s Street, was installed in 1879.

On Green End Parade, junction of Green End and Brownlow Street, is a modern electrically powered clock installed in 1994.

A Joyce standard pillar clock of 1994 stands at the Bull Ring, where Green End meets the High Street.

Outside Whitchurch, there are other Shropshire examples at Wem, Ellesmere, Market Drayton and Shrewsbury, and on dozens of village churches and private properties all over the country.

Some notable JB Joyce clocks

In England and Wales:

Chester Eastgate 
Union House, Madeley, Ironbridge
Montgomery Town Hall
Royal Exchange, Manchester 
Aberystwyth Railway Station
Worcester Cathedral


In other countries:

Sydney Post Office, Australia
Government House, Delhi 
Customs House, Shanghai
Rio de Janeiro (3)
HM Dockyards, Gibraltar
Capetown City Hall


Further information

At The Whitchurch Heritage and Tourist Information Centre at 12 St Mary’s Street there is a substantial list of JB Joyce clocks in public places, on many village churches, and on large private houses and stables throughout Britain. The list also includes a significant number of installations in countries abroad.

For more extensive treatment of the town’s horological industry, see R Hughes: Clock and Watchmakers of Whitchurch (Whitchurch History and Archaeology Group) and Douglas J Elliott Shropshire Clock & Watchmakers.
Notes for Sarah BARNETT
Of Soulton Hall nr Wem, Shropshire.
Last Modified 2 Jun 2012Created 28 Jan 2018 using Reunion for Macintosh