Stolen antique clock works back at estate 40 years on

Image caption,
Sir Ferrers Vyvyan said the mechanism was recognised instantly

A 250-year-old clock mechanism has been returned to its home in Cornwall after being found by chance nearly 40 years after it was stolen.

The mechanism, which was built in Truro in 1757, disappeared in 1972 from the tower on the stable block on the Trelowarren Estate on the Lizard.

It was found after a relative of the estate's present owners spotted it in a shop in Belgium.

The mechanism has been put on display on the estate.

Handle recognised

Estate owner Sir Ferrers Vyvyan said his sister recognised the mechanism immediately when she saw it in Brussels.

He said: "As soon as she saw the finials [decorative points at the top of the mechanism] and she saw the handle, she knew it was the real clock."

After some detective work, Sir Ferrers' aunt, Virginia Redrupp, talked to the shop owner and showed him some photographs she had found to show where the timepiece, the value of which has not been revealed, had come from.

Ms Redrupp said: "We went to Brussels and showed it to the man who had the clock and he instantly said 'that is a photograph of this clock'.

"His reaction was that the clock must go back to where it came from."

The tower the clock mechanism was housed in has recently been restored, but the clock itself currently runs on an electric mechanism.

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