ALSTONE Glos. – ST MARGARET . SCRATCH DIAL

DEDICATION † ST MARGARET OF ANTIOCH – C12 origin, further building C13, later additions & restoration. The squat timber-framed bell-turret HE is C19.

LISTING † GRADE II*

LOCATION † Off the beaten track 5 miles NW. of Winchcombe, 7 miles E. of Tewksbury. One of several ‘dial’ hamlets or villages in the Parish of Overbury BHO LINK, reached by a network of rural lanes. The first sight of St Margaret and its bell-turret was an interesting surprise. 51.9906 / -2.0267 / SO982324

DIAL † W. jamb of the porch door, an encircled and seemingly random collection of pocks of different sizes and depths, some extending outside the circle including what must be the noon-line but marked several degrees to the left. An apparent style hole, mortared, is on roughly the right horizontal line, but way out of the natural vertical line. Very mysterious and impossible for an amateur to interpret. My tentative afterthought is that these anomalies were a way of adapting the dial and the shadow cast to adjust for the orientation of the church.

NOTES † At the time I visited, I was looking only for one dial based on the Glos. list compiled by TW, and this was obviously it. I didn’t anyway have time to investigate further. However, since then I have seen a clue that suggests another, possibly more complex dial. So I need to return one day to find it.

GSS Category: Scratch Dial

All photos: Keith Salvesen

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