What is time but a mere invention of man? Around 1286, a mechanical system that struck a bell on the hour was installed in St. Paul's Cathedral in London. A dial was then added around the 14th century. Around 1288, the first clock tower was erected at Westminster Hall, London, followed by the cathedral at Canterbury in 1292. During the early 1300s large mechanical clocks were starting to appear on buildings or towers and in 1352, the Strasbourg Cathedral was built.
The invention of mechanical clocks can be traced to a simple mechanism in 966 that rang bells at regular intervals throughout the day. It was created by Pope Sylvester II as a reminder of when to start prayers. Eventually clocks were added as architectural features on buildings, mostly parliamentary or government erected ones like town or city halls and cathedrals.