BARWICK . SOM . ST MARY MAGDALENE – TWO SCRATCH DIALS

BARWICK . SOM . ST MARY MAGDALENE

DEDICATION † St Mary Magdalene. C13 onwards, enlarged from a chapel. C19 rebuilding, chancel added. Norman font, good bench ends (‘a lively set’ PEV) including a carved Green Man), bells c.1400. An excellent information board / timeline in the churchyard

LISTING † Grade II*

LOCATION † Church 2 miles south of Yeovil, but you might never know. In folded country cut by deep sandy hollow ways PEV. Best approached from the hectic A37 down a long hill, formerly one of these sunken ways that are a feature of the area. The church is almost the first building as you enter the village from W. end, before the old village and newer housing. 50.9225 / -2.6301 / ST558138

BARWICK . SOM . ST MARY MAGDALENE . Scratch Dial 1
BARWICK . SOM . ST MARY MAGDALENE . Scratch Dial 2

DIALS † Dom Ethelbert Horne DEH visited the church on June 16th, 1915 and found 2 dials

DIAL 1

186. (1) This dial is on the w. side of the s. porch. It is 4 feet 9 inches above the ground, the noonline is 3 inches in length, the stylehole is 5/8 of an inch deep by 1/2 an inch in diameter, and the aspect is s. by 25° e. Type 3.

The style hole is easy to see but the radials are hard to make out because of erosion and lichen. 4 or 5 lines are fairly clear, others barely discernible. DEH notes Dial No. 1 is just above a consecration cross, of which there are three cut upon the s. wall. See Notes below.

DIAL 2

187. (2) This dial is on the s.e. corner of the s. aisle. It is 3 feet 6 inches above the ground, the noonline is 4 1/2 inches in length, and the stylehole is 1 1/2 inches deep by 3/4 of an inch in diameter, and the aspect is s. by 30° e. Type 4.

A strongly cut and pretty dial on the quoin E. of the Priest’s Door. The lines are straggly, with varying lengths, angles, straightness and depths. Some extend into the upper half of the dial.

DEH notes: Dial No. 2 has Roman figures added at the ends of certain of the lines The two images below are the same, in both colour and B&W. Some find the latter makes for clearer reading. The numerals – in the lower left quadrant – are hard to make out now. More than a century after DEH’s visit, erosion and pollution may have caused significant deterioration.

NOTES † Consecration crosses – DEH noted 3 on the S. wall. In all there are 10 exterior crosses, and one interior by N. door. One has been dated to 1489. The hole in the centre of the first has made me ponder whether it held a gnomon, with the outline of the cross working as a ‘time of day’ marker.

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