A BIZARRELY ANACHRONISTIC SUNDIAL IN FRANCE
Take one majestically ruined Viollet-le-Duc castle in central France, and simply add a naff slate sundial of unsatisfactory design, fix it to a medieval wall with badly-chosen B&Q screws, and you get this… Viollet violated.
TWO MORE SCRATCH DIALS AT LITLINGTON, EAST SUSSEX
Detailed post HERE
SCRATCH DIAL AT LITLINGTON, EAST SUSSEX
Detailed post HERE
ARMILLARY SPHERE SUNDIAL, KINGSTON LACY DORSET
This enjoyable armillary sphere at Kingston Lacy stands proudly on a tall stone baluster in the middle of a rose garden. I wanted to get close to it to look for markings, few of which were visible at a distance. However the lush spring growth deterred closer investigation, and I preferred to leave it inspected. It is not included in Historic England’s detailed descriptions of the house and garden. A photograph found online suggests that the sundial was at one time located elsewhere in the garden, near a wall. I need to try a bit harder to find a date for it.
All photos: Keith Salvesen Photography
TOLLER PORCORUM CHURCH, DORSET
CHASTLETON HOUSE, OXFORDSHIRE
ALL SAINTS CHURCH, CLOSWORTH, SOMERSET
PONTE VECCHIO, FLORENCE (? 1345) – full post HERE
VILLEFRANCHE-DE-CONFLENT, PYRÉNÉES-ORIENTALES: A DOUBLE DIAL
CAIUS COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE: A SET OF 6 DIALS – full post HERE
JUMIÉGES, NORMANDY: AN ELABORATE MASS DIAL (1660) – full post HERE
BOCONNOC PARISH CHURCH, LOSTWITHIEL, CORNWALL (1710)
The Parish Church forms part of the Boconnoc Estate, and is picturesquely situated close to the mansion, overlooking the River Lerryn. Unusually, it is a church with no dedication.
TWO SUNDIALS AT HOUGHTON HALL, NORFOLK
On a recent trip to Houghton for an exhibition, I forgetfully left my camera in the car. Suddenly we were confronted by a fine ornate C18 pillar or column sundial, fit for one of the marginally better-curated theme pages of this sub-blog, SUNDIALS. Resorting to an iPh*ne in low light was far from ideal, so apologies for the quality of the images. Fortunately you can see the ingenious ways in which the 4 gnomons are attached to achieve the correct shadow angles; and the numbering variations of the faces, depending on their orientation. The result is dawn-to-dusk time-telling. Always provided the sun is shining!
1. A FOUR-SIDED C18 PILLAR SUNDIAL IN THE GARDENS AT HOUGHTON
2. A FOUR-FACED SUNDIAL ON AN OCTAGONAL TOWER: HOUGHTON HALL, WEST FRONT
By the time we got to the house a light drizzle was falling and there was no hope of a decent photo. I’ve had to borrow, as credited. I’ve included 1 poor effort at the end simply to give the sundial’s context in relation to the house. Thanks to Elliott Brown for use permission for the first two. You can see these and his other images HERE. Again, you can clearly see the variations in the gnomon placement; and in the numbering / angling of the faces. And, thankfully, proof that the sun does shine in Norfolk.
The image below is credited to Edmund Patrick and licensed via wikimedia commons
Bad weather shot… in all senses
DOLLOND SUNDIAL AT ROUSHAM HOUSE, OXFORDSHIRE
SUNDIALS AT THE WATTS GALLERY, COMPTON, SURREY
An ususual sundial, now kept inside the Gallery
EAST SUSSEX: A LARGE MODERN SUNDIAL DESIGN AT NOON
TWO CONTRASTING SUNDIALS IN DORSET
1. SHERBORNE ABBEY
Undated, said to be c18 (but the gnomon [sorry, Abbey] looks a bit B&Q…)
2. LONGBURTON CHURCH (ST JAMES THE GREAT)
This sundial is quite hard to see from the ground – it is surprisingly high for such a small one. It is a simple ‘Mass’ or ‘Scratch’ dial (perhaps better ruled than most), set in Ham stone. I’ll add a date when/if I can find it.
TWO CHURCH SUNDIALS IN SUFFOLK
1. GRUNDISBURGH – THE SUNDIAL and THE CHURCH
2. EAST BERGHOLT CHURCH (I didn’t take a close-up of the sundial itself)
TWO SUNDIALS IN THE CHAMPAGNE REGION
1. CHAVOT-COURCOURT – EPERNAY, FRANCE
The church dates from 1202. The romanesque tower, nave, transept and apse were built later, around 1560. This small rustic sundial, now gnomonless, is scratched rather than carved into the stone lintel above the side-door. It seems primitive in the context of the church as a whole. Even the spacing of the radials seems somewhat random… Such dials are known as a ‘Mass’ or ‘Scratch’ dials, and they may date from between 1100 and 1600
2. SAINT-YVED DE BRAINE – SOISSONS, FRANCE
A fine Premonstratensian Abbey. I can’t make sense of MIVM (1996? it’s an odd way to put it)
HAMPTON COURT PALACE
Sundial with calendar and compass by Thomas Tompion (1639–1713)
SANTA MARIA NOVELLA – FLORENCE
DUNNOTTAR CASTLE – ABERDEENSHIRE, SCOTLAND
This is an old photo (2003). The repaired crack seen here has, by 2011, been further repaired and additional repair work carried out rather assertively… see DUNNOTTAR REPAIR
SUNDIALS FROM AMSTERDAM (a change from Tulips…)
1. MODERN 1993 SUNDIAL ON PRINSENGRACHT ON A c17 HOUSE (? a midwife’s house)
2. MUSEUM VAN LOON, KEIZERSGRACHT – THE OLDEST (1578) OF THREE
2. MUSEUM VAN LOON, KEIZERSGRACHT – ARMILLARY SPHERE
3. MUSEUM VAN LOON, KEIZERSGRACHT – ARMILLARY SPHERE (CLOSE-UP)
4. MUSEUM VAN LOON, KEIZERSGRACHT – A FINE SOUTH-FACING SUNDIAL ON THE GARDEN SIDE
TWO SUNDIALS SOMEWHERE IN WEST LONDON…
1. A SIMPLE HEMISPHERICAL ARMILLARY SUNDIAL MOUNTED ON CORNISH (DELABOLE) SLATE
2. AN ARTS & CRAFTS SUNDIAL by LIBERTY & CO, LONDON (MISSING ITS GNOMON)
Found buried in an old pigsty (by me, aged 10). The four sides are designated EARTH, AIR, WATER, & FIRE, with appropriate images for each. The motto round the plinth reads “I MARK THE PASSING HOUR AS THE SHADOWS COME AND GO”. The history of this sundial is currently being investigated. It may well be the work of Mary Watts, wife of painter G.F.Watts, of Compton, Surrey, or of her coterie. It is certainly the product of the Arts and Crafts / Art Nouveau movement. The motto does not seem to be recorded elsewhere; and the use of the four classical elements as motifs for each side is most unusual, possibly unique.
ZUAVA SUNDIAL KNIFE, SCARPERIA, MUGELLO
Scarperia is a smallish town famed for 2 things: its proximity to the Mugello motor-racing circuit; and high-quality knives and bladed implements of all descriptions. This is a rare fully functional sundial that can also peel an apple… (Maker’s Catalogue)
TWO CAMBRIDGE SUNDIALS courtesy of and © Jo Edkins
1. CAIUS COLLEGE – GATE OF HONOUR (dated 1575)
1. CULZEAN CASTLE, AYRSHIRE
An old photo from the early days of digital cameras at a time when I was more interested in taking photos of the friends with us than in the sundial. That would still be the case, I hasten to add…
To see a really good image of this intriguing sundial by Craig MacCulloch, click this link: CULZEAN SUNDIAL
2. HOLBEIN’S “THE AMBASSADORS” (1533) National Gallery, London
6 thoughts on “SUNDIALS”
Thank you for your very fine sundial postings, I have really enjoyed them this morning!
Thanks Jim, that’s very kind of you to say so. Much appreciated. Generally it’s a shamefully untended blog, very much a side-project in sporadic idle progress. Sundials, bees and ducks get better attention than most topics… Many thanks for taking the trouble to call in and wander round. All the best from Rolling Harbour
Re-found this today. Great pics. My ‘Discovering Isle of Wight Sundials’ will soon be on my http://www.hutchings1776.talktalk.net It includes Tony Wood. You may like to look at 1776 diary already on it. I believe you were in touch with John Davis of the BSS.
Elizabeth, good to hear from you. I’ll keep an eye out for you IoW Sundials, thanks for the link. I later found we’d been close to an IoW one I was sorry to miss. I was indeed in touch with John a while back, but sundials have had to drop down the priority list for now… All the best. (PS did you see the pics of the extraordinary sundial at Kelburn? I’ve never seen so many dials!)
I just re-found your page today and it is nice to see that it has grown since my last visit. I make my Spectra sundials and send them out into the world nearly every day, but it is really nice to see some of the very aged sundials from your area. Thank you again for posting such nice pics!
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Thanks for returning, Jim, and for the kind comment. Now I need to check out Spectra in return…