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11 Willard Street
North Grafton MA 01536


The Willard House & Clock Museum is a historic place with festive roots, right in the heart of Massachusetts. Come visit us for a guided tour of our museum.

Time & Timekeeping-Presented by David Gow

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Time & Timekeeping-Presented by David Gow

  • Willard House and Clock Museum 11 Willard Street North Grafton, MA, 01536 United States (map)

“Horology” is defined as the science of measuring time and the art of making instruments for indicating the passage of time. David Gow is a horologist with a keen understanding of this fascinating subject.

 David will explore how time has evolved in its perception and impact on society through the ages. He will walk us in the footsteps of our Neolithic ancestors during the creation of Stonehenge and examine with amazement the oldest working mechanical clock in the world, dated 1386 at Salisbury Cathedral. Sand clocks, water clocks, and sun dials will be shown to demonstrate the need for humankind to understand the old maxim, “The Times of Man are in the Hands of God”.

 David Gow is a clock maker, conservator and student of the mysteries of time, the complexity of calendars on clocks throughout the ages, the undisputed role of clocks in global navigation and the role of timekeepers as the most important scientific instrument of all time. Join us for this illustrated lecture on “Time and Timekeeping” in an effort to understand a concept that has puzzled scientists since the dawn of the modern age.  

 Born into a family of craftsmen in Aberdeen Scotland, David Gow continued the tradition by serving a five-year apprenticeship as a joiner and cabinetmaker. This traditional background, formed the foundation for almost forty years in the field of horology.

David has devoted most of his time to restoring clocks from the 18th and early 19th centuries. For almost 25 years he has held the position of consulting Conservator at the Willard House and Clock Museum. His other clients include, historical societies, museums, the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C.. He has taught restoration techniques to students, with an emphasis on sensitive conservation/restoration objectives. He also has lectured, including at the annual Robinson Lecture at the Willard House and Clock Museum.

David and his wife Barbara live in Shrewsbury and have two adult sons. He and his wife are avid sailors, having cruised four winters aboard their sailboat Podjo in Florida and Bahamian waters. Subject for another time!

FREE with museum admission

Earlier Event: May 3
Clock Winding
Later Event: May 8
Once Upon a Story Time