Birch Memorial Clock Tower - A Symbol of Historical Grandeur

Birch Memorial Clock Tower Discover Ipoh Perak Malaysia

Birch Memorial Clock Tower was built in 1909 in memory of the first British Resident of Perak J.W.W. Birch, who was assassinated in Pasir Salak in 1875 by followers of a local Malay chieftain, Datoʼ Maharajalela. Get more info about the tower now!

Birch Memorial Clock Tower Discover Perak Malaysia Summary

Birch Memorial Tower Discover Ipoh Perak Malaysia
  • Attraction: Birch Memorial Clock Tower Discover Perak Malaysia
  • Location: Perak Malaysia
  • Attraction Type: Historical Building in Malaysia

Birch Memorial Clock Tower from Official

J.W.W Birch

It is interesting to note that this memorial project was put into motion by the British Resident of Perak in 1905, E.W. Birch, the son of J.W.W. Birch. The memorial, built at a cost of $25,000, is described as a square decorated tower where each corner is a figure representing the four virtues of British administration: Loyalty, Justice, Patience and Fortitude. On the four civilisation panels around the tower, one can find forty-four notable historical figures portrayed.

One of them was the last Prophet of Islam which was unfortunately painted over in the 1990s due to objections from the Muslim community to the depiction of the Prophet.

Birch Memorial Clock Tower from Official #2

Birch Memorial Clock Tower

Standing in front of the Ipoh State Mosque, the square tower comprises a portrait bust and four panels illustrating the growth of civilisation. Erected in memory of J.W.W.Birch, the first British Resident of Perak who was assassinated in Pasir Salak on 2.11.1875 by local Malay Chiefs Datuk Maharaja Lela.

Birch has been described by R.O. Windstedt and R. J. Wilkinson in The History of Perak as “a lonely pathetic figure of an Englishman with narrow rigid ideas as his daily companions”. The book also states that Birch once wrote that “it concerns us little what were the customs of the country nor do I think they are worthy of any consideration”.

A Dedication to J.W.W Birch

Standing in front of the Ipoh State Mosque, Birch Memorial Clock Tower comprises a portrait bust and four panels illustrating the growth of civilisation.

Unveiled in 1909, the Birch Memorial, a square decorated tower with a portrait bust and four panels illustrative of the growth of civilisation was erected on the table-land at a cost of about $25,000.

A dedication to J.W.W.Birch, the first British Resident of Perak, is found beneath the bronze bust of Birch in the north-facing niche.

J.W.W Birch Memorial Clock Tower Specifications

The clock tower has one mother bell, 6 ft 6 in. in diameter and weighing 10 cwt., and four smaller bells weighing together 10 cwt., which used to strike the chimes of Big Ben.

At the corners of the belfry, mounted on pedestals, are terracotta figures, representing the four “Virtues of British Administration” – Loyalty, with sword and shield, Justice, blind and carrying a sword and a pair of scales, Patience, unarmed, and Fortitude, with a calm face and bearing a spear.

On the civilisation panel, 44 famous figures in world history were portrayed. The image of the last Prophet facing the mosque was painted over in the 1990s due to objection from Muslims to the depiction of the Prophet.

Discover More Attractions in Perak, Malaysia

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Birch Memorial Clock Tower Discover Perak Malaysia Reviews

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Ipoh's Birch Memorial Clock Tower

Birch Memorial Clock Tower

The Birch Memorial Clock Tower (Menara Jam Peringatan Birch) was constructed to commemorate James W. W. Birch, the first British Resident of the state of Perak and unveiled in 1909 at a cost of $25,000. The clock tower is located in a square with a portrait bust and four panels illustrative of the growth of civilization. It has a mother bell and four smaller bells which used to strike the chimes.

There are four panels each one of the depicting the exponents of the different stages of civilization:

Panel A (North)

The stone age: A Hunter, A Fisherman, A Woman spinning.

The iron age:A man and a woman

The Early Eastern Peoples : A Nubian with gold and ivory, A Chaldean Astrologer, A Woman making pottery, An Egyptian, An Assyrian, A Persian.

Panel B (West)

The Eastern Mediterranean: Moses, David, A Phoenician, A woman representing the Agean civilization.

The Far East: Confucius, Buddha, Lao Tzu.

Greece and Rome: A woman representing Greek Art, Alexander the Great, Plato, Augustus.

Panel C (South)

The Byzantine Empire: Constantine the Great.

Islam: Mohammed.

The Age of Chivalry: A Crusader.

The Age of Faith: Saint Clare of Assisi

Gothic Art: Saint Thomas Aquinas

The Renaissance: Galileo Galilei, Michelangelo, Vittoria Colonna, Columbus.

The Reformation: Martin Luther.

The Elizabethan Age: William Shakespeare.

Panel D (East)

Modern Science, Art and Social Services: Isaac Newton, William Harvey, James Watt, An unnamed Embroiderer, Beethoven, Robert Stephenson, Louis Daguerre, Florence Nightingale, Charles Darwin, Thomas Alva Edison, Joseph Lister.

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Birch Memorial Clock Tower

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Birch Memorial Clock Tower Discover Perak Malaysia

Birch Memorial Clock Tower
31650 Ipoh, Perak
Tel : 05-249 9966 (Tourism Perak)

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