GRADE 1. C12 chancel, nave; continuing development; Largely rebuilt C16, tower in C17. Mid-Victorian restoration (Cutts). Cotswolds, between Winchcombe and Stow-on-the-Wold. 51.949 / -1.8685 / SP091278
TWC in his 1935 ‘Origins and Use of Scratch Dials’ includes Temple Guiting in his county lists (along with nearby Guiting Power). There is no other information that I can find in any of the usual resources nor going beyond them. The century-by-century work on this church make it hard to know where to look, especially as stones may have been relocated or even removed.
Within an hour of posting this, more research revealed Guiting sightings of 3 dials. An article by Rev. P. Sullivan for the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society (1924, Vol 46, 169-86) lists many Glos. dials including the following:
All are quite high up, which is no real excuse for missing all of them, even when in a hurry. I clearly need to go back. Please stop here unless you want to check out a less obvious / certain dial…
With limited time for a visit, the only dial-like marks I could find were under window of the transept (if that’s the right term) on the N. side. There are 2 clear lines; one faint line; and a couple of possibles but too eroded to be sure. I may easily have missed a real dial(s); this is the candidate I noticed.
My thoughts are that this is a small, simple dial cut on an older-seeming stone; that it has been relocated, presumably from the S. front; and that it has been rotated 90º anticlockwise. There’s the hint of a filled style hole below the dark patch that looks different from the lichen.
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 OverburyBHO 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.
DEDICATION † ST NICHOLAS – late C11 or early C12 origin, mainly C13 / C14; tower added late C15
LISTING † GRADE I
LOCATION † 6 miles E. of Tewkesbury; S. of Bredon. One of a small group of appealing hamlets in the Parish of Overbury BHOLINKand beyond. Take in nearby C12 Little Washbourne with its splended hexfoil. A rewarding area for church visits and in particular scratch dials. 51.9951 / -2.0533 / SO964329
DIALS † Two dials on the S. side: one (A) on the R. jamb of the blocked doorway, one (B) on an adjacent buttress. A is clear, with varied line lengths and divisions, and the hint of an outer circle. B is badly eroded with only a partial circle clear. There is a possible ill-defined circle top left of it.
NOTES † If you are investigating scratch dials, this area of Glos. / Worcs. is prolific for them. Advisable to check TWC ‘counties list’. It’s not infallible and some counties are slight, but it is the most comprehensive county-by-county list for general guidance. His entire short pamphlet can be found online HERE and downloaded. You can sometimes find the 1935 original online, but then you will find his 2 other (rarer) sundial pamphlets and the costs begin to mount…
LOCATION † STANTON is four miles north of Winchcombe, one of several attractive Cotswold villages in the immediate area. Many of the local churches feature scratch dials, Glos. as a whole being a hotspot. The Church of St Michael has, besides a scratch dial, a time-worn sundial over the porch. 52.0067 / -1.9013 / SP068342
DIALS † The scratch dial is on the right side of the fine projecting porch towards the edge, and easily visible as you approach. It looks as elementary a circle dial as one could imagine. The sundial is set high on the parapet above the doorway, seemingly old, definitely battered, and with a tilted gnomon.
STANTON: THE SUNDIAL
NOTES † Apart from inclusion in TW‘s extensive list of Glos. dials, I have found no further information. Not referenced in BHO / BLB / HE. For interest: the VG Stanton website notes “several bench ends are deeply ringed by the dog-chains of the sheepdogs, brought by their masters to church” and that stone benches in the porch were for the infirm to sit on and lean against the wall: “the weakest go to the wall”.
LINKS † Tony Wood TW: Mass Dials in Gloucestershire LINK ; Stanton Village Church online LINK
STANTON is a most attractive Cotswold village four miles north of Winchcombe, with several other equally agreeable villages nearby – Stanway for example. Many of the local churches feature scratch dials – this area (and Glos. in general) being a hotspot. I will cover some of these in due course.
The Church of St Michael has – besides a scratch dial – a sundial over the porch. In addition, Stanton has a fine sundial in the main street, mounted on the village cross. The cross is a Grade II listed Scheduled Monument, with Calvary steps that are medieval and formed the base of a Wayside cross. The shaft is later, and the dial, orb and cross perhaps later still. The sundial, dated to C17, is just one part of the harmonious whole. It’s a fine dial but there are obvious reservations about the gnomon and its fixing…
A small pretty village and an attractive simple church with a bellcote dating from C15 with earlier C12 foundations. Restoration c. 1800. Of note is a Saxon Cross / Crucifix dated to C9, originally discovered elsewhere in the village and perhaps from Winchcombe Abbey. Also, the ‘Savage Brass’, early C17. Several other churches nearby also have scratch dials; further afield also.
DIAL † Not readily visible. Located anachronistically on a corner under a modern lantern and next to a plastic drainpipe. It is quite large, with a pair of full circles and a variety of dots, some of which seem unlikely to relate to the dial.
NOTES † BLB mentions ‘Five C12 corbels below the bell turret including bears’ heads and a pair of human faces’. I missed these…