The typical work day in the middle ages was grueling compared to ours today. Around 1300, they generally started work at sunrise and finished up the day at sunset. Sometimes they would rely on the sound of cathedral bells to signal the end of the day. Most workers worked 16-17 hours during the summer and only 11 in the wintertime. Most guilds allowed workers to work at night if they wanted to, although few took advantage of the offer because of the long work days. Depending on the season, the meal breaks ranged from two and a half hours to three and half hours long. The length of the work day also depended on the nature of the job, how skilled the laborer was, and what the master wanted from the apprentice.


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