The Corpus Clock is one of the newest and most distinctive public monuments in Cambridge. It is a unique and strange device for the measurement of time and is both hypnotically beautiful and deeply disturbing. It was invented, designed and given to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, by Dr John C Taylor, a British inventor and alumnus of Corpus Christi College. It took five years and cost one million pounds to build and more than 200 experts participated (clock masters, engineers, metallurgists, etc). Stephen Hawking inaugurated it in September 2008.
How to read it
The clock face is a 1.5 metre diameter gold-plated disc on which blue LED lights are arranged in three concentric rings. The inner ring of lights tells you the hour, the middle ring the minutes, and the outer ring the seconds. On top of the disc is the clock’s most memorable feature, the locust-like creature. The clock’s designer calls this the ‘Chronophage’, from the Greek words ‘chronos’, meaning ‘time’, and ‘phago’ meaning ‘I eat’. The creature is eating the seconds as they pass and thus represents life’s transience and the notion of time being a destroyer