ASHINGTON . SOM . ST VINCENT – 2 Scratch Dials

St Vincent . Ashington . Som.


GRADE I † C13 origins in simple form, with later additions of porch, nave and chancel. A pretty and unassuming small church adorned with a notable bell turret. BLB highlights a number of interesting features. Located between Yeovil and RNAS Yeovilton, close to several other good ‘dial’ churches. 50.9904 /  -2.6267 / ST561214



The buttress where the nave joins the chancel is the focal point for 2 scratch dials, one above the other. The upper circle dial is pleasingly elaborate with ± 18 radials fanning out from the style hole, many ending in pocks. Because of erosion I can’t be sure, but given that the circle was evidently complete, I suspect the full 24 hours were once cut. The lines in the lower ‘morning’ quadrant are deeper cut. Some lines extended to the mortar. A very satisfactory dial for an amateur to find.

St Vincent . Ashington . Som – Scratch Dial 1

DEH visited St Vincent and other churches in the vicinity in May 1915. His field research primarily involved locating scratch dials throughout Somerset, taking meticulous but limited measurements of them, and making a general record, with occasional specific notes. As the pioneer of modern dial study, he was less concerned with the finer details we can now hope for, and he rarely included information about radials, pocks, angles and so on – nor put forward theories. Of Dial 1, he simply noted:

184. (1) This dial is on the second buttress e. of the s. porch. It is 6 feet 5 inches above the ground, the noonline is 4 inches in length, the stylehole is nearly 2 inches in depth by 3/4 of an inch in diameter, and the aspect is s. by 10° e. Type 4.

DIALS 1 & 2

St Vincent . Ashington . Som – 2 Scratch Dials


St Vincent . Ashington . Som – Scratch Dial 2

DEH 185. (2) On the same buttress, 2 feet 3 1/2 inches lower down, is a second dial. The noonline is 3 inches in length, and the stylehole is 1/2 an inch deep. Type3. May 19th 1915.

He added the comment: The lower of these two dials may be only a copy of the one above, but it is badly weathered and it is difficult to judge. Puzzling, because this dial (to which DEH assigns a different Type) seems quite unlike its companion above. There are few discernible lines, and some are wholly or in part made up of pocks. It is much less ambitious and much more rustic. It almost seems that it was the first dial on the buttress, and Dial 1 was a much more artful improvement.

GSS Category: Scratch Dial

Photos: Keith Salvesen

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