Palazzo dell’Orologio (the clock building)

The first records of a clock in Roccalbegna date back to 1676 in a report called “Visiting the cities, lands and castles...in the territory of Siena” (manuscript Tome III) written by Bartolomeo Gherardini. In his report, he states: “In front of the main church, there is a small square; there are the public buildings next to it, namely the courthouse, Oriolo...The goldsmith is deputed by the municipal magistrate and the Priors and has a salary of one hundred and eighty lire. The latter, however, although it has been said he should be elected as Priori, the Marquis (Biechi Ruspoli) nevertheless represents him”. This description highlights how the watchmaker was appointed directly by the Marquis. In his "Report on the Maremma communities 1766 - 1767" (ASF, Secretariat of Finance before 1788), Cristiano Miller testifies that Palazzo Pretorio, the Town Hall with Prisons and the Clock, was in the square. Elena Del Santi (the municipal archive of Roccalbegna, 2004) describes the discovery of card 42, which contains a memorandum of an event that occurred in Roccalbegna on 22 July 1739 written by the Commissioner, Rutilio Santi. It is reported in full: "On 22 July 1739 at ten o'clock in the evening, having undone and loosened a panel in the shaft of the public clock in the Roccalbegna courthouse, my own daughter, Maria Arcangela, accidentally fell through the opening into the shaft where the counterweights of said clock fall. In falling, she snapped the rope which held the gravity time counterweight of about forty pounds. She was aged four years, one month and three days. Many people rushed towards the noise in order to extract my daughter, and Signor Gioseppe Fabreschi tied himself to a rope and descended into the shaft. He found her sitting at the bottom of the shaft and carried her out. She was completely unharmed. In fact, shortly after escaping from her mother's arms, she went outside to joke about it with other girls as if nothing had happened. She was safe and sound and completely unhurt by the fall of eight to ten fathoms in depth, the stones of the well, or the weight of the clock, attributable to the special grace of Saint Mary Magdalene, whose festival it was on that day, San Francesco di Pavola, whose votive habit she was wearing, and in short, to the mercy of the Most High and the Holy Virgin Mary who (?) and absolves his favours. So, out of gratitude for such grace, I wanted to write a truthful and sincere memory of it in this report”. The clock building currently houses the municipal library.