aelfgifu (aelfgifu) wrote in little_details,

Giving Medieval People the Time of Day

Here is a weird question. Our novel takes place in something like 11th-12th century England. I have understood that time is not something that was importance to most folks (save monks) until it edged closer to the Industrial revolution. And I know there were water clocks, sundials, and other cumbersome devices that the vast majority of people had no access to. Yet when I read other novels set in a similar period, it seems the characters have an uncanny ability to divine the time to the nearest half hour.
Is this a mistake of the authors?
Or were people really so good at reading the sun?
Or did more people than I suspect have water clocks so they could find it was a-cup-past-a-jug in the morning?
How aware were Medieval people about the actual time of day and how did they know it?
Tags: ~middle ages

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