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In 1745, the Burgh bought a new clock from Edinburgh clockmaker, Andrew Dickie, for Dunfermline Abbey’s west tower. For most people this clock was the main way of telling the time. Originally driven by a 30 foot long pendulum it now runs on electricity.

“A Glorious invention was the pendulum”

Before Andrew Dickie’s new clock was installed, there had long been a clock in the Abbey Tower for many years. In December 1723, the old clock was converted from vibrating-bar style to a pendulum clock – invented around 1639 by Galileo’s son.

Before the invention of the pendulum, the style old vibrating-bar frequently made an error or up to an hour a day! The pendulum would ensure the clock kept perfect time within a few seconds for months at a time – it was hailed a glorious invention.

A decade later, the auld kirk clock received a new crown wheel made of brass to keep it in good working order. For this, local wright, Robert Bonnar was paid 12 pounds Scots, and given the job of looking after the old clock for the next six years. Robert attended to the annual maintenance of the clock until it was replaced in 1745, by which time his annual payment had increased to 13 pounds 10 shillings Scots.