Clock Tower Merewether Karachi
Merewether Clock Tower or Merewether Tower is a neo-Gothic clocktower worked during the Victorian period in Karachi, Pakistan. The tower is a milestone landmark of central Karachi. It is at the end of two main streets in central Karachi: Muhammad Ali Jinnah Street and Chundrigar Street, both famous among the Karachi people. The tower used to stamp the city’s limit to the people showing up from the port at Kamari and denoted the splitting line between Karachi’s Old Town and its more current European quarters toward the east. It is right now the westernmost place of the Serai Quarter.
Merewether Tower was raised by open public funding as a dedication for Sir William L. Merewether, who filled in as Magistrate of Sindh from 1867 to 1877 in the Victorian era long before independence. Planned by James Strachan, the prime municipal engineer of Karachi, the Legislative head of Bombay laid the establishment’s fundamental stones, Sir James Fergusson, in 1884. It was officially opened to people in 1892 by the Chief in Sind, Sir Evan James. At that time, this project was completed at a total cost of 37,178 rupees.
Merewether Clock Tower Karachi History, Architecture & Location
Strachan planned the tower in the Gothic Restoration style famous in Victorian Britain to summon the engineering of Middle Age Britain (eleventh to fifteenth century C.E.). The design appears as an Eleanor cross. The main attraction of this building in Karachi is this very particular fact. In the Middle East, their cultural landmarks and engineering also faded after the British returned. In the subcontinent, the British engineers and officials sent over by Britain’s British government also brought their culture here.
The Merewether Clock Tower in Karachi is a standing monument of that history. The building is built marvelously in the European Renaissance and Enlightenment Gothic styles. This building is among the rare Gothic revival architectural landmarks left in the area. People can look at it and surmise the history of such complex art, which was accomplished in its essence about 800 years ago. The Gothic style was greatly appreciated and admired in the past eight centuries in Europe. All the significant monuments, buildings, universities, etc., were built in this popular style.
History of Clock Tower Karachi
The Merewether clock tower was a dedicatory monument dedicated to the memory of a particular 19th-century British military commander Sir William Merewether, who was residing in the region of old Karachi long before Pakistan’s independence. Strachan planned the tower in the Gothic Recovery style, well known in Victorian Britain, in respect of the famous and typical architectural style followed in the middle ages. The same type, Gothic architecture, is still prominent in Europe, which keeps the legacy of 800 years old architectural culture.
During Elizabethan times, around the 15th to 16th century, gothic architecture was still typical, generally in Britain from the eleventh to fifteenth century C.E. The design was done to achieve the appearance of Eleanor’s cross. The clocktower remains on a base of 144 square feet and ascends 102 feet. Four clocks are arranged at a level of 70 feet on every veneer, with a bell that weighs 300 pounds that strikes on the hour. More modest and smaller bells weighing 100 pounds strike on the quarter-hour. It is made of neighborhood Gizri sandstone, and the Star of David is additionally apparent on its exterior. The tower is finished with sharp stonework cut by stonemasons of the Silawat community, otherwise called Gazdars.
The tower used to check the southern degree of the city while showing up from the port in Kiamari along Napier Mole Street. Likewise, it fills in as a marker of the splitting line between the Old Town and the new European Serai Quarters. It is situated at the ends of two significant lanes: Muhammad Ali Jinnah Street and I. I. Chundrigar Street is an important bus stop.
It is due to its location that it is very famous today in Karachi because it is situated in conjunction with two significant city streets. Namely Chundrigar Street (previously Mc Leod Rd) and M.A. Jinnah Street (formerly Bandar Rd); hence, the city’s more substantial part has seen it. It is likewise one of the significant ends of city transport. One can hear transport guides shouting ‘tower’ all over the city, which is how locals refer to it. This is how people who hadn’t heard about the Merriwether clock tower find out about it. Day by day, the popularity of the famous clock tower still grows.
The Architecture of Clock Tower
The Engineering of Merewether Tower is an Eleanor Cross. Eleanor Crosses were 12 stone landmarks that were raised in Britain somewhere in the range of 1291 and 1294. Three of those unique Eleanor Crosses exist in Britain today, and many buildings are based on the architect of Eleanor Cross. Merewether Tower, Karachi, is one of those that share their structure with the first such architect. Before we go further on the engineering of Merewether Tower, a historical note on the first Eleanor Towers is necessary. For what reason were they made? Lord Edward, I made them in memory of his significant spouse Eleanor of Castile. Hence it got the name Eleanor Crosses. Her dead body was being brought to London for internment, and the parade forming the funeral succession heading to London marked a historical moment; thus, Eleanor Cross Tower was raised as a landmark.
Who built Merewether Clock Tower?
Open membership funded the construction of the Merewether Tower as a tribute to Sir William L. Merewether, who temporarily served as Chief of Sindh from 1867 to 1877. The foundation stone for the building, designed by James Strachan, the Metropolitan Specialist of Karachi, was laid by Sir James Fergusson, the Legislative Leader of Bombay, in 1884. The Magistrate in Sind, Sir Evan James, opened it to the public in 1892 at 37,178 rupees.
What is the total cost of the building?
The total cost in 1892 amounted to a total of 37 thousand rupees. This money was donated at large by the general public as a sign of respect to the Military officer, Sir William Merewether, to whom the tower was dedicated.
Significance of Clock Tower
When traveling along Napier Mole Road from the harbor at Kamari, the tower served as a marker for the city’s southern boundary. Additionally, it marks the boundary between the Old Town and the brand-new European Serai Quarters. It is also a significant bus stop at the intersection of two critical roads, Muhammad Ali Jinnah Road and Chundrigar Road. The tower is also immensely substantial due to its neo-gothic architecture. Such architecture is no longer used, so the building represents a specific time in human history and its architectural genius.
How old is the Clock Tower?
The building was finished in 1892. Discounting the date when its construction work began, the building is about 130 years old today.
What is the purpose of a clock tower?
The massive bell of a clock tower rings after each passing hour. In the old days, a clock tower was used to tell people the significance of each hour, and people used to maintain their schedules and manage their time by the rings of each hour. The little chimes run at each quarter of an hour, four times.
What is the height of Karachi’s famous Merewether Clock Tower?
The Merewether Clock Tower marks a height of 102 feet from the ground. Looking at it from the ground, one is perplexed by such a height. The sight from such a height thoroughly surveys the surrounding area.
What is the oldest clock tower in Pakistan?
Completed in 1892, the Merewether clock tower remains one of the oldest clock towers in Pakistan. Constructed by the end of the 19th century, it marks the end of the Victorian era and architecture.
The famous clock tower is at M.A Jinnah Rd, Serai Quarters, Karachi, Karachi City, Sindh 74000.
The tower is vital to Karachi since it has a history before independence. Sir William L. Merewether, who served as “Chief in-Scinde” (Sindh) from 1868 to 1877, is honored by having the tower bear his name.
Famous essayist Richard Burton described Merewether’s “known occupation” in Sindh in the following lines during his most recent trip to Karachi. ‘General Sir William L. Merewether, K.C.S.I., etc., is a public servant who, for the past 33 years, has dedicated himself entirely to serving the interests of his region, where he has had a recognized vocation and has made history.’ So if you are a Pakistani and are interested in history, visiting this beautiful landmark might give you many historical insights. The tower remains an integral part of societies around the building and represents a great monument.