The Clock Tower is one of the older features of Hogwarts Castle. Within the tower, lies the mechanism that run the antique clock. There is an old courtyard at its base, and at the top is the clear glass dial of the clock. There is space between the clock's movement and the dial for a person to either repair the clock or to stand and look out over the courtyard. There are five bells in the clock tower of various sizes; these bells appear to be made of copper as the bells are rather oxidized. The Clock Tower chimes every half hour and strikes a small bell at the beginning and conclusion of class sessions. What powers the clock's mechanism is currently unknown, but it is presumed to be weight-driven.
The Tower does not begin at the Ground Floor level. Because it is placed on top of a hill, the Tower begins at the Third Floor level. When you enter the Tower, there is a large Hall with flights of wooden stairs at the right and left side and the pendulum of the Clock Tower can be seen slowly swinging as well. The first landing is at the Fourth Floor level. It's at this landing that are the clock's movement and transparent dial. A long corridor with the entrance to the Hospital wing is at this landing. This same corridor connects the Tower to the rest of the castle. If you go up another flight of wooden stairs, you will get to another landing, this time at the Fifth Floor level. It's in this landing that are the clock's bells; four massive gold and copper bells for chiming and striking the hours and the suspension spring of the pendulum. There is another corridor at this landing; like the other, it links the Tower to the main castle.
Timekeeping wise, the clock has a visible pendulum swing of 46 beats per minute, due to the length of the pendulum.
1993-1994 School Year
Battle of Hogwarts
During the Battle of Hogwarts, the Clock Tower was heavily damaged, especially on the front side, by Death Eaters: much of the clock face was oblitherated, the clock mechanism was badly damaged and one of its bells somehow ended up at the Entrance Courtyard. However, the bell could have also come from the Bell Towers, also Voldemort and Harry crashed into the ruined tower during their final battle. It is presumed that the tower was reconstructed and the clock mechanism fully restored to working order sometime after the battle concluded.
Behind the scenes
- The Clock Tower first appeared in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and is never mentioned in the books. This may be intended to highlight the theme of Time, which plays a central role in the film, and also to foreshadow Harry and Hermione's use of Hermione's Time-Turner at the film's climax to travel back in time in order to rescue Sirius Black and Buckbeak. However, at the beginning of the first book, there is a picture of Hogwarts depicting a tower with a clock.
- In the books it is said that there are bells to signal the beginning and end of classes, so probably there was a Clock Tower at Hogwarts in the books.
- The design of the clock appears to be based on the Old Town Clock (also called the "Orloj" - pronounced "OR-LOY") in Prague, Czech Republic. The Orloj tells not only the time, but shows the month, the sign of the Zodiac, and shows the relative positions of the moon and sun. This type of clock is known as an "astronomical clock", and may be used by astronomy and divination students.
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the sound of the bell chiming sounds very similar to the chiming of the bell inside the clock tower at the Palace of Westminster in London, popularly known as Big Ben. However, in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire the sound of the bell is changed, and is not heard chiming in the subsequent films.
- The film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban only shows the third and fourth-floor landings and the outside of the Tower. All subsequent films only show the outside building of the Tower. In the video game version of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, we are only shown the outside of the Tower, inside being the Entrance Hall, but in the video game adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and the video game adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince all the Tower is shown, including all the landings and the exterior.
- In the film adaption of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire onwards, when students are shown in the Clock Tower courtyard or down the hill from the Clock Tower, we never see the Clock's pendulum swinging in the background as it does in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
- In the film adaption of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, a giant swinging pendulum can be seen behind Dolores Umbridge as she stands at the far end of the Great Hall during the Charms O.W.L.. This is similar to what was shown in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. It could be said the clock is used for the exams and is returned to the tower after exams are over..
- In the video game of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, you get the mission to sabotage the Clock Tower so Dolores Umbridge cannot plan her lessons.
- In the scene were Harry and the Gryffindors run out of the Clock Tower with Harry's new Firebolt in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban they do not come down from the wooden staircase, but from the inner part of the Clock Tower Entrance. This may be an error on the filmmaker's part, but it is also possible they could have used one of the shortcuts seen in the video game version of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and the video game version of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the Clock Tower's clock face and front side is ruined due to Death Eaters.
- The clock towers dial is made of clear glass and there is a subsidiary dial attached to the main dial, this small dial most likely keeps track of the seconds.
- After the third movie for some reason, the clock towers dial does not appear transparent.
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the timing between the chimes is different between 7:30 and 10:00 at night.
- The face of the clock, as well as the pendulum bob, are currently on display for the public as part of The Making of Harry Potter studio tour.
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film) (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (video game) (Seen in cutscenes)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7