Location: Waterfront, Knightstown, Valentia Island, Co. Kerry
The Town Clock structure was built in the late 1800’s. The lower section housed the scales. What had to be weighed was placed on the weighbridge and the reading taken from the scales inside. Originally there was just the lower section but the Knight of Kerry decided to make the building more aesthetically acceptable by adding the upper Clock Tower including a four faced clock. Unfortunately, the clock was put out of commission in 1922 by some Free State Soldiers or so the story goes. Like all stopped clocks, it remained an eternal liar up until 1990 when things changed.
Coal was the main item to be weighed as that was the fuel used by the Valentia Slate Company in their furnaces in Knightstown and the Slate Quarry. Coal was also used in the nearby Western Union Cable Station premises. The large fleet of fishing vessels also availed of the coal as did the three lighthouses in the vicinity, namely Cromwell Point Lighthouse, Skelligs Lighthouse and Inishtearaght Lighthouse. The local inhabitants also used coal as their fuel. The process of weighing the coal was interesting – when horse and cart was the mode of transport – the cart was first weighed, the coal was then loaded and the difference was what was paid for.
The nearby Hut building was kindly paid for by the Springrice family of Reenglass House who felt that the passengers using the ferry from Knightstown to Renard on the mainland would greatly appreciate shelter from the elements.
In 1990, Knightstown Tidy Towns lead the restoration of the Town Clock and Hut building.