EARDISLAND . HEREFORD . ST MARY THE VIRGIN – 2 Scratch Dials

St Mary the Virgin . Eardisland . Herefordshire

GRADE II*. C12 origins, C13 with C14 additions (chancel, S. porch); tower rebuilt mid C18 after a collapse; Victorian restoration. Much of the medieval church in evidence. External and internal masons’ marks, graffiti etc. A pretty village on the R. Arrow, on the ‘Black & White Village Trail’ 52.2218 / -2.8497 / SO420585

DIAL 1

On the R. side of the S. porch, on the stone below the architrave. The stone below has marks that are probably apotropaic. 3 definite lines descending from the mortar line and through a slanting line that looks most like a fault in the stone – that may also apply to the 4th ridged line on the left side, or perhaps it was cut / added at a different time.

St Mary the Virgin . Eardisland . Herefordshire – Scratch Dial 1

DIAL 2

Cut into the large quoin stone on R. side of the priest’s door and spanning its width. The dial has a relatively complex design, perhaps combining its practical purpose with decorative effect. Erosion has made interpretation difficult. The style hole, now a small cave, is in the mortar line. The lower R quadrant shows part of 3 concentric semi-circles. There’s a hint – best seen top L – that at least the inner circle line continued above the horizontal. There’s little other sign of a more complete circle.

St Mary the Virgin . Eardisland . Herefordshire – Scratch Dial 2

Erosion and lichen obscure the finer details. BSS records 7 lines but a close-up photo in sunlight reveals about a dozen, with possibly some shorter lines (half-hour marks?). There are also pocks, 2 or 3 of which could relate to the dial – in particular the 2 ‘terminal’ ones adjacent to the noon line just above the mortar.

St Mary the Virgin . Eardisland . Herefordshire – Scratch Dial 2

GSS Category: Scratch Dial

All photos: Keith Salvesen

BRAMPTON BRYAN . HEREFORD . ST BARNABAS – Scratch Dial

St Barnabas . Brampton Bryan . Herefordshire

GRADE 1. C14, earliest record for the site 1275. Largely destroyed in 1643 during the Civil War, as was the adjacent castle. Almost entirely rebuilt in 1656. Late C19 alterations and extensions. Much of interest including a triple hammerbeam roof. Most notable as a rare example of a church built (or rebuilt) during the Commonwealth. 52.3471 / -2.9255 / SO370725

DIAL

St Barnabas . Brampton Bryan . Herefordshire – Scratch Dial (Circle type)

The dial, a large circle, is on a short buttress under the E. window. There are few detectable marks, not least because of the lichen that covers most of it. The presumed style hole is basically a dimple in the centre. The present position – and indeed the history of the building – indicates relocation. It’s hard to say how useful it might originally have been, but it adds to the remnants of the church’s medieval past.

PLAUSIBLE ADDITIONAL DIAL (UNRECORDED)

To the right of the E. buttress on the E. end, there is a darker reddish stone, of a type seen elsewhere in the stonework, that caught my eye. There were 2 distinct long downward lines from an apex where there might credibly be a style hole. My photos don’t show the stone and markings as clearly as they looked to the eye. I immediately thought it was a probable dial. If so – given its position – the stone was undoubtedly relocated during reconstruction. I leave these images as food for thought. Comments are welcome.

GSS Category: Scratch Dial

Photos: Keith Salvesen