Situated at the foot of High Street in the Marina's Garden
McKee Clock is part of the Columban Way, a heritage trail between Comber and Bangor covering 20 miles (32 km). A trail to experience the area’s rich and diverse history, Bronze Age relics, monastic settlements, Viking attacks, industrial heritage and military influences in both the First and Second World Wars, are just some points of interest you will discover along the way. Find out more about the Columban Way Heritage Trail.
The Clock was built for the people of Bangor through the generosity of James McKee who offered the council £200 for the work. The preferred site was the Victorian bandstand, as it was “in the vicinity of the Esplanade for the convenience of the public”. However, this meant moving the bandstand. For many years it sat on the Marine Esplanade but is now situated in Bangor Castle Walled Garden.
The four-faced illuminated clock was designed by Mr Bell, the Borough Surveyor, built by John McNeilly of nearby Victoria Street and dressed by Thomas Blaney of Belfast with stone quarried from Ballycullen near Newtownards. The clock was unveiled by Miss Connor on 8 July 1915.
McKee was the Borough Rate Collector from 1891 until his death in 1919. He became very wealthy, eventually earning more than the Town Clerk, as he was engaged on a commission basis and Bangor kept growing! He had the admirable record of closing each year with no arrears carried over, no doubt owing to him being ‘most original in his methods’ as his obituary stated.