The Cuckooland Museum in Tabley, Cheshire, England is famous for hosting the world’s largest collection of cuckoo clocks, which has been collected by the founding brothers, Roman and Maz Piekarski over the course of more than 45-years. Cuckooland was set up back in the year 1990 and as of now, the museum holds 700+ cuckoo clocks from across 300 years of clockmaking history. It was set up as a way to preserve a section of the European clockmaking history from getting lost in time and each of the pieces in the museum are exquisite examples of the various steps in cuckoo clock making evolution through the centuries. There were other types of clocks on display at the museum once, but as of now, it’s solely dedicated to cuckoo clocks.
In order to visit the museum, it is necessary to make an appointment first, but the hosts are always eager to entertain visiting groups whenever possible. There is a minor price of admission per person on making the appointment. In addition to the famous cuckoo clock collection, the brothers have quite a rare collection of vintage trucks and motorcycles on display for everyone to enjoy as well.
The Collection at Cuckooland
While Roman and Maz have now stopped actively seeking out new pieces for their collection, each of the 700+ clocks that are already there in Cuckooland is unique and they represent almost every popular, as well as rare designs ever crafted by the cuckoo clockmakers of Black Forest, Germany, in particular. Some of the most unique, rare and expensive antiques even among these rare gems were, of course, made by Johann Baptist Beha of Eisenbach, who is the most famous cuckoo clockmaker in history. Each of the “Beha cuckoo and echo” designs made by the legendary clockmaker is unique pieces of art, but the ones with the life-size, fully functioning cuckoo automatons outside the clocks grab the attention of the onlooker immediately. Some of Cuckooland’s other famous pieces area as follows.
- A 250-year old 30-hour clock that looks like a shield,
- A classic cuckoo clock made for Frederick I, the Grand Duke of Baden in the mid-late 1800s
- Designer cuckoo clocks signed by the likes of Mattia Cimadoro, Matteo Fusi, Christie Bassil, and Raffaele Darra among others
- A piece that was a gift to the USA in the 19th century
Why Cuckooland is a Must Visit
Cuckooland is the most popular spot in the little parish of Tabley and if you are in Cheshire during your travels, it’s a place that’s definitely worth visiting. In more ways than one, entering the museum feels like stepping into a time portal that transports the visitor back to the Victorian era. The building was a school once, but each of the tall, 25-feet walls almost feel alive now with the sound of ticking clocks and cuckooing automatons. There are quite a few other clock museums around the world as well, but there’s just nothing that resembles the Cuckooland Museum in Cheshire at the moment.