History of Clocks and Time Keeping

Ref: C2346926

The need to understand the passage of time has been fundamental to civilizations. Apart from the basic need to predict when crops should be sown timekeeping soon became tied up with religious events and later with regulation of daily life. This course will give a background to the development of how the strive for measurement of time was achieved through technical advances and the effect of art and design on clock cases that would ensure that time keepers achieved an important position in the domestic home and an increasingly complex commercial world. More recently, it has allowed us to ask what time actually is.

Course aim

To introduce the study and practice of timekeeping and clocks from earliest times to the 20th Century giving students a detailed background of the history of their mechanical and artistic development.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Have a basic understanding of the what is a timekeeper and how time was kept before the introduction of mechanical clocks.
  • Have an understanding of mechanical development of clocks and watches
  • Have an understanding of relevance of the need to develop timekeeping in our society
  • Understand the major influences behind mainstream clock case styles.
  • Understand the basic process of conducting an investigation and producing a small report (this assumes that the project is undertaken). What teaching methods will be used and will there be work outside of the

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

A basic understanding of history might be useful to help with the background.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

History of Clocks and Time Keeping


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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