Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Clock Towers

Clock Towers are today admired for their aesthetics; however, they once served an important purpose. Before the middle of the 20th century, most people did not have watches, whilst even prior to the 18th century home clocks were very rare. The first clocks didn’t have faces, but were solely striking clocks, which surrounded bells to call the surrounding community to work or o pray. They were therefore placed in towers so the bells would be audible for a long distance. Clock towers were placed near the centres of towns and were often the tallest structures there.

The use of clock towers dates back to the antiquity. The earliest clock tower was the Tower of the Winds in Athens that featured 8 sundials. In its interior, there was also a water clock, i.e. a clepsydra, driven by water coming down from the Acropolis.
Here, the clocks and clock towers are from the South England city of Winchester, the first capital of England. 

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