All Saints . Rothbury . Northumberland (C of E Heritage Record / Dave Evans)


GRADE II* † On Pre-Conquest / Anglo-Saxon site. C13 / C14, rebuilding & restoration C19 in similar style. Located in Coquetdale with linked churches. 12m SW of Alnwick, close to NT Cragside. 55.309 /  -1.9106 / NU057016


There are 2 dissimilar scratch dials on the church, and an intriguing cube dial (shown below and will feature as a separate post in the Cube Dial section) on the ground in the Churchyard.


Located on the E-most buttress of the S wall of the chancel. Quite a large dial centred in its stone, with a blocked gnomon hole. There are 16 lines, encircled and fairly evenly spaced. This makes the dial out of kilter with the normal time interludes. BSS notes that instead of the 15º angles usual for this type of dial with 24 lines, they are more like 22º here.


Between the 2 E-most buttresses of the S wall of the chancel. Only 3 lines radiate from the filled gnomon hole (incomplete quadrant markings): the horizontals (6-to-6) and a shorter noon line. BSS notes that in 1903 a vertical line above the hole was recorded, and so the design once had 4 quarters / sectors. The dial is contained within a double circle.


The Parish of Upper Coquetdale has an interesting page about All Saints, its history, and its various features HERE

Pendulum Publications has an excellent and detailed article about the Rothbury Dials – including the C18 cube – HERE Highly recommended if you want to investigate this church and its dials further, and medieval ‘clocks’ generally. It was originally published in Clocks Magazine of November 1991.

All Saints . Rothbury . Northumberland – Keith Bates / Clocks Magazine 1991; Pendulum Publications

GSS Category: Scratch Dial; link to Cube Dial

Image Credits: Erika Clarkson for the photos from her visit; others as captioned

2 thoughts on “ROTHBURY . NORTHUMBERLAND . ALL SAINTS – 2 Scratch Dials

  1. Rob (Mr Grumpy who has recently, surprisingly, occasionally shown mild interest) did ask a good question. Why are there four sections per quarter in the first dial (on dark background), rather than three to indicate the hours?


  2. Hi Keith
    Thanks for these fascinating pictures.
    You asked about St. Margaret’s here, we could only find a kind of lintel in the wall of the SW buttress of the S transcept but no marks and nobody has heard anything about a sundial here.
    Keep well
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂


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