From New Babbage Department of Records and Archives
The History of Fullarton House
As you sail into Clockhaven from the open Vernian sea, or as you walk up the dock fronts along the mooring harbors past all the crammed in side by side buildings, the sight of what remains of the old Clockhaven synagogue seems out of place with the rest of the region.
In the early days of New Babbage when clockwork machinery could be heard all over the continent, the Great Synagogue of Clockhaven stood out from the rest of the buildings. Taking up most of the back quarter of the region are expensive-looking gold leaf domes, gold plated wall ballistrades and marble vaults, which served the Jewish working community as a place to worship and gather for important communal meetings with the workforce and employers of the era.
However, with the fall of the age of clockwork and the rise of the Age of Steam, vast changes to the inner lands of New Babbage took place as the spread of steam power went across the land. Vast industries and workforces trained and managed to maintain and run the clockwork machines which once covered the land soon found themselves out of a job. Industries fell, workforces became unemployed and new industries with new ideas of steam power started to take over. The workforce which once worked in massive factories forging clockwork cogs soon found themselves part of the demolition teams taking down the same buildings they used to work in, and then as part of the construction teams, making the factories to produce the same boilers and fittings for the technology which had cost them their jobs.
As the new industries moved in, a new workforce moved in with them. The once bustling clockwork engineer communities started to dissipate and move on to pastures new. As New Babbage started to get a thick covering of soot and fog from all the boilers, the last of the staunch clockwork workers moved away. What remained of the Jewish workforce was not enough to cater for the high costs of maintaining the synagogue. The gold leaf was stripped from the three domes, the dark emerald facade of the stone masonry was chipped off and sold, the gold leafing of the ballistrades and ornate workings of the great halls were auctioned off, and with that the synagogue was boarded up and closed.
Less than three months later the land that the halls of the synagogue stood on was sold on to the state, the entire back half of the old synagogue which was where most of the halls were situated was demolished, leaving only the domed and vaulted entrance way and cylindrical entrance into what would have been the main hall. What remained of the building was sold to a Mr Worthington, he planned to convert the remains of the building into an observatory but just as work was finishing on the telescope and concertina folding dome, the Great Observatory of Doctor Obolensky had been finished, with a telescope ten times more powerfull. It made Mr Worthington's efforts seem pointless.
Worthington kept the building, using the lower half of the structure as his home. The upper half of the building was converted into storage facilities once the telescope was stripped down and sold on as scrap. Worthington's fortunes took a turn for the worse, though, as a great economic crisis swept the land. Old firms and employers once confident of their future found themselves bankrupt. The great Aetheric Power & Engineering company was declared bankrupt, and along with it a vast amount of the workforce was left unemployed. Mr Worthington decided to sell off the land and the old building back to the state.
Two years passed. Many buildings in the Clockhaven estate were on the verge of collapse and waiting to be demolished. Then the then Mayor of New Babbage Mosseveno Tenk opened a vast landsale, the entire region of Clockhaven went up for tender, and with it, the old synagogue.
The old synagogue, now renamed by its owner to "Fullarton House" is now a residence, Mr Mornington's "holiday home". Most of the internal structure has been put aside for "experiments of the nature of aetherical travelling through time"; most of his neighbours think he is a bit crazy. The upper dome of the structure was converted into a conservatory and the concertina folding dome has been repaired so the dome once again opens and closes for privacy. The conservatory is open to visitors and New Babbage residents all year round to sit and relax in, as long as they - and I quote from Mr Mornington - "Don't fiddle with my test equipment on the ground floor!". The conservatory is accessible from an "Aetheric transportation device" on the ground floor, a small black and gold seal on the floor which one touches to transport up to the conservatory.