Clock House

The Clock House is mentioned three times in the Ramsey Abbey List of Employees.

  • A John Drury was paid 6d for making iron works for the clock house, no date given.
  • Henry Smith was paid a stipend of 40d for keeping the clock (winding etc.) in 1390 and 1391.
  • Henry Tyler was paid 24d for work on clock house, no date given.

We can see from these entries that the Abbey had a clock to help the Monks with their many prayer periods. Below is an extract from Wikipedia about Medieval Clocks.

‘Simple clocks intended mainly for notification were installed in towers, and did not always require faces or hands. They would have announced the canonical hours or intervals between set times of prayer. Canonical hours varied in length as the times of sunrise and sunset shifted. The more sophisticated astronomical clocks would have had moving dials or hands, and would have shown the time in various time systems, including Italian hours, canonical hours, and time as measured by astronomers at the time’.

Unfortunately we will never know what type of clock was installed at Ramsey, unless somebody finds some written evidence in the future.