MOTTO GROTTO

GAUDIUM SUB SOLE

Joy / Delight / Pleasure Beneath The Sun

A storage space for sundial inscriptions, and for the less sophisticated category of mottos.

The title for this blog came to me while I was considering how best to make use of a growing store of photos of medieval and other sundials. I checked my Latin, checked that the phrase is unique online, and pressed on.

I MARK THE PASSING HOUR AS THE SHADOWS COME AND GO

SHERBORNE . DORSET

Privately owned (by me). Gnomon-less Liberty sundial by Barker, found under earth and rubble in a pigsty when I was 10. Still gnomon-less. Featured in BSS Bulletin Quarterly Summer 2021

UT VITA FINIS VITA

CHELSEA OLD CHURCH . LONDON

The dial below is, strictly, a modern dial. However it is a faithful restoration of the original of 1692. The church was flattened by bombs in 1941. My parents were married here the previous year. The neatly-rhyming motto Ut Vita Finis Ita seems (pace MG but mis-dated) to be unique:

1539.UT VITA FINIS ITA. 1652. As the life is so is its end.On the tower of Chelsea Old Church. The dial has lately been repaired, and also the brick tower. Sir Thomas More lies buried in the church.
Chelsea Old Church. London. Dial of 1692 remade 1957 after bombing in 1941

Let Others Tell of Storms and Showers : I Only Count Your Sunny Hours

This is a modern mass-produced dial in various finishes, with an historic link to 1767. The motto, well-known in this or slightly different forms, reads Let Others Tell of Storms and Showers : I Only Count Your Sunny Hours. It’s a perfectly serviceable dial and doubtless gives pleasure to many as a garden feature. I have seen it listed online as if genuinely from 1767 (and at a competitive price).

COM MES SOL FA MES BE ESCRIC

VILLEFRANCHE-DE-CONFLENT: DOUBLE DIAL

Catalan, meaning roughly When it is sunny, I write (show the time) well. This rather charming inscription was apparently added around 2000 by the village pastor.

DE LABOR SOLARIS

TOURETTE LEVENS, FRANCE

Tourette Levens, a village near Nice. Undated but modern – lacking only an MM to be a millennial dial. Plain, simple, with letters / numbers presumably (and if so, pleasingly) cut by hand. A slightly bent gnomon. Sadly, behind bars when I saw it.

‘From the Sun’s Labour’. Variations of this motto exist, the closest being Pope John Paul II’s ‘De Labore Solis’. There are various religious speculations attached to this phrase and similar phrases, but not pursued by me

SOL VENIT

PIDDLEHINTON . DORSET

St Mary, Piddlehinton, Dorset. Millennium Sundial . ‘The Sun is Coming’ . See link for 2 scratch dials & an ‘old dial’

TANT ICI PASSERENT . LE TEMPS PASSE . NOUS PASSONS

SAINT GEORGES DE BOSCHERVILLE . NORMANDY

One of several sundials at this fine Church. It translates roughly as So much (time) has passed here. Time passes . We pass. but sounds better in the original.

St Georges de Boscherville . Normandy . Vertical Sundial . Keith Salvesen
St Georges de Boscherville . Normandy . Vertical Sundial

CORNUBIAE HORTOS AMABANT

TRELISSICK GARDENS . CORNWALL

A charming memorial sundial in a lovely setting: A Couple (who) Loved Gardens

Sundial – Trelissick Gardens . Cornwall

TYME PASETH

ST MARY . BUCKNELL . SHROPS

1712 seems unlikely, and the motto – as spelled – is not found elsewhere (and not in the comprehensive MG list). A pleasing design and nice coloration.

St Mary . Bucknall . Shrops

OUR DAYS ON THE EARTH ARE BUT A SHADOW

ST PETER AD VINCULA . BROAD HINTON . WILTS

The dial with its rather sombre motto was presumably placed on the porch during late C19 restoration. It is slightly angled for accuracy.

St Peter ad Vincula . Broad Hinton . Wilts

TIME LIKE AN EVER ROLLING STREAM

Millennium Dial . Fulham Road . London

SOL NOS ALIOS UMBRA

SÉES . NORMANDY . FRANCE

A modern dial on the facade of the Musée départemental d’Art Religieux. A somewhat selfish motto Sol nos alios umbra: ‘Pour nous le soleil, pour les autres l’ombre’ / For us, sunshine; for everyone else, shade.

CARPE DIEM

YVOIRE . LAC LÉMAN . FRANCE

VIGILATE ET ORATE

ST STEPHEN . CHARLTON MUSGROVE . SOMERSET

A dial dated 1916 set into the apex of the porch with the inscription Vigilate et Orate (Watch and Pray). The dial stone is slightly canted and the footing of the gnomon is on the 11 line for accuracy.