Edward VII memorial clock tower, Clifton Crescent, Birkenhead, Wirral
Isolated and forlorn, this Grade II listed building is situated on a raised grassy triangular plot of land near Birkenhead town centre. Traffic on the fly-over rush past it just metres away on their way to Birkenhead Tunnel. Even on the ground traffic users don't have time to notice this clock tower as they enter a busy round about system. While pedestrians have to be mindful crossing the various roads to notice the tower as it is over shadowed by the imposing fly-over.
This overlooked clock tower is a memorial to the reign of Edward VII (22/1/1901 - 6/5/1910). The tower is roughly 40 to 50 feet in height from it's base and is made from Portland stone (creamy white in colour). The description from the Heritage gateway website states that it has a stepped base to a square rusticated plinth, which seems to mean that the plinth is made to look like large bricks. The plinth on it's four sides has a profile of Edward VII, a relief of the royal coat of arms, the inscription "King Edward VII A.D. 1901 - 1910 Erected by public subscriptions. Arthur W. Willmer mayor A.D. 1911.". The final side has a narrow doorway giving access to an internal stairway, presumably to the clock mechanism. On the main column are four lions in each corner and eight Doric fluted shafts supporting the clock housing. The housing is an elaborate piece of masonry with four clock faces beneath a dome finished with a carving of the Sovereign's orb as its pinnacle.
The overall look of the memorial could be described as classical in style. There is a small amount of graffiti on the plinth. While the plinth and main column are clean, the clock housing looks rather grimy. When the tower was built it was located in front of Birkenhead Central station, a picture taken in 1903 in A century of Birkenhead & Wirral Events (2007) shows the tower in the background. While a picture in Wirral Chronicles volume 1 has a picture from 1938 showing the tower in a different location (its present). It seems that it was moved 50 meters, but for what reason? The nearby flyover was built after 1965. (http://www.tunnelusers.org.uk/history.htm
On the parcel of land on which it sits on are some disused and locked subterranean public conveniences. Sometimes youths can be seen congregated around the tower, but access is limited to the Central Hotel side of the island.