Get me to the church on time

BBC News reports on the discovery of sun dials in the ruins of Inchcolm Abbey in Scotland that kept the medieval monks “on time.”

Conservationists working at Inchcolm Island found the remnants of a special sundial which they believe may have been carved into a wall. Until now mystery has surrounded the method used by the order to tell time. While well-known in England, the British Sundial Society said there were relatively few dials in Scotland.

Historians believe the Augustinian canons lived according to a strict routine, which made it essential everyone in the community did the right thing at the right time.dial.jpg

“Medieval timekeeping was very different from our present day dependency on the accurate measurement of time for catching trains, getting to work or viewing TV programs. “Changing seasons and weather meant that mass dials could not always be used but when the sun shone they provided a relative means of coordinating community activities.”

Photo from Historic Scotland.

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