Tourists Driven Cuckoo By Chiming Clock

A tourist destination in the U.K. has brought new meaning to the term “wake up call” with fears the constant chiming of the local clock tower is driving visitors away.

While thousands of tourists descend upon the small English town of Bishop’s Castle each year, many apparently vow never to return after spending sleepless nights listening to the chime of the city’s clock.

The bells in the clock tower chime not just on the hour, but every 15 minutes — regardless of whether it’s day or night.Debate has erupted recently over whether to quiet the clock for the sake of tourists. For the uninitiated, the constant jingling from the clock is maddening, according to the owner of a local hotel. He says many of his guests love the town but refuse to return because of the incessant chiming. Although the clock has been chiming every 15 minutes since the 18th century, he’s pushing for it to be silenced at night.

However to locals, the musical clock is part of the town’s character and many say they’re lulled to sleep by the reassuring chimes. “I always sleep better when I can hear it. It is definitely part of the town and it would be a real shame to see it go,” argued one resident.

Would a chiming clock drive you bonkers when traveling, or is preserving the character of the destination more important?

Bishop’s Castle: You have to see it to believe it

Here at Gadling, we love suggestions that come our way from readers. As much as we travel, we can only go to so many places–unless you’re Jerry or Grant, and then the question is, when are these guys ever home?

Bishop’s Castle came our way through Bill Volk who used to write home improvement/construction type posts for DIYLife. He follows Gadling faithfully–or so I hear. Considering that Volk seems like he could build a castle himself, I can see why this building caught his attention. Built single-handedly by Jim Bishop out of stone and iron over the past 40 years, the castle, located near Rye-Bullah, Colorado, is still a work in progress. Nonetheless, it has become a roadside attraction that people drive out of their way to see.

Funky doesn’t begin to describe it. Bishop, who has used 1000 tons of rock so far, and is still adding details, describes his efforts as a “monument to hardworking people.” I’ll say.

His hard work has finally gained him status as an official Colorado tourist attraction. In the article Volk sent our way, Bishop was still getting snubbed. People who go see his castle are welcome to tour at will, although, there is a guest book adults must sign to absolve Bishop of any mishaps. Climb around at will, but don’t blame him if you fall.

Perhaps when Bishop’s finished with this astonishing piece of handiwork, or even before, he ought to contact Jonathan Borofsky, the artist who makes Hammering Man sculptures as tributes to hardworking folks. One of Borofsky’s kinetic sculptures would fit right in.

If you go here, you can cross one of the 101 Places You Gotta See Before Your 12 off the list. describes Bishop’s Castle as being “in the middle of nowhere.”