Houses of Parlt
Gt Clock 42 Queen Anne Street
Mr Denison to Ld Seymour 22 Jan 1852
22nd January 1852
I have written to the Astronomer Royal as you desired, sending him a copy of that sketch of the general arrangement of the clock which I showed you, & asking his opinion about the advantage of putting the clock over the air shaft if possible.
He says in reply:
The convenience of having the command of the airshaft was so obvious that on receiving the plans I at once made inquiry about the possibility of having license to use it: the answer, I think was rather obscure! I am not quite certain about the necessity; & if the interests concerned here appear to be in conflict it will be obviously desirable that ours should not be pressed rigorously except where we are absolutely unable to give up our point.
With this view I should ask you to consider the following suggestions: -
He then proposes several expedients for continuing to use the space in the middle, which are certainly (as well as others which I should rather adopt) feasible, if we were driven to use it; but all such expedients will tend to render the clock less perfect, & will immediately suggest to any spectator who understands such things, the question – ‘why was not this position of this clock settled in the first instance between the architect and those who managed the clock? For if it had been, not such arrangement as this would ever have been adopted.’
I intend to call at the Office of Works, as you suggested, to look at the old plans & I will bring Mr Airy’s Letter with me, in case you would like to see the kind of expedients which he suggests for adapting the clock to the middle of the tower.
… I remain My lord
Yours very truly
E B Denison
The Lord Seymour