OLD DIALS

The meaning of an old dial for present purposes is a sundial that dates from ±1600 and is demonstrably not medieval, through to late C19. It will not have been carved on the original stone fabric of a church (or other building), although it may be on a stone later inserted. It will commonly be a ‘freestanding’ vertical dial affixed to the church and sometimes canted to the correct angle. A gnomon should preferably be – or have been, if missing – an integral part of it. An old dial will ideally be marked with a date to make life easier

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ST NICHOLAS . TRELLECH . MONMOUTH

Detailed post HERE

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ST JOHN . BURCOMBE . WILTS

Inclusion in main post HERE

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ST ANNE . ANCROFT . NORTHUMBERLAND C18

Detailed post HERE

Walter Baxter . Geo cc

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ST PETER & ST PAUL. CLARE . SUFFOLK 1790

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WINTERBORNE WHITECHURCH . DORSET . ST MARY

A remarkable, probably unique, octagonal dial dated to C17. Of note: the degree of canting; the E facing dial; the 2 gnomons; the 8-sided design.

Detailed post HERE

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MALMESBURY HOUSE . THE CLOSE . SALISBURY 1749

Detailed post HERE

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ALL SAINTS . DEWLISH . DORSET 1671

Vertical C17 dial high up on the tower. Detailed post HERE

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ST NICHOLAS . ABBOTSBURY . DORSET

Vertical dial on the S parapet, undated. Full article HERE

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ST MARY . RIMPTON . SOM. ?1827

Vertical dial on parapet marlon LINK 1827? when the church was ‘repaired and beautified’

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ST MERRYN . CORNWALL . 1800

Vertical dial over the porch, slate on stone . Conventional design. IIII for IV. Casts a long shadow. Dated 1800 . Motto TEMPUS FUGIT

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ST LAURENCE . HOLWELL . DORSET C18

The dial is above the S. porch. Hard to date, but relatively complex. There are no numerals, and the lines from 6am to 6pm mark the hours, half-hours and the quarter-hours, carefully graduated. Some lines (eg 8am) are emphasised. There is no gnomon though there must have been one. The presumed site seems to be slightly off-centre at the top, where there is an area of damage. The dial was renovated in 1998 by S&L Kellard of Street, and the decision must have been made not to add a modern gnomon.

For a post about the 3 medieval scratch dials at St Laurence see LINK

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ST MICHAEL . LITTLE BEDWYN. WILTS

Vertical dial angled SE LINK

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ALL SAINTS . NEWTOWN LINFORD . LEICS . 1706

LINK to detailed post for this dial and 2 scratch dials

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BOCCONOC PARISH CURCH . CORNWALL . 1716

LINK to main post

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ST MARY . MAIDEN NEWTON . DORSET. 1630

St Mary . Maiden Newton . Dorset

On S. face of tower – square slab with simple capping, iron gnomon and date 1630 RCHM

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All Saints . Piddletrenthide . Dorset . 1602

All Saints. Piddletrenthide . Dorset – Sundial 1602

BSS notes: Shows 6am to 6pm in half hours. Two circular motifs cut into either side of gnomon, decoration cut into dial sides. IIII for 4pm. Triangular sheet gnomon with lead fixings – possibly not original.Inscription at bottom OCTOBER [THE ?] 23 1692 (though I read it as 1602)

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Holy Rood . Buckland Newton . Dorset . 1704

Holy Rood . Buckland Newton . Dorset

Dated 1704 by date-cut gnomon. Luckily caught in winter sunshine. Full post HERE

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St Michael . Stanton . Glos. C17 (?)

St Michael . Stanton . Glos.

Undated, more research needed. Provisionally C17.

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Stanton . Glos. Village Cross dial, orb and cross . C17

Stanton . Glos. Village Cross dial, orb and cross

Dated to C17 on older shaft and medieval Calvary steps. Gnomon & fixing more modern… Full post HERE

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Manor House . West Dorset . 1608

Dial set at an angle on a fine Manor House . West Dorset . Dated 1608

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St Peter . Stourton Caundle . Dorset . C18

St Peter . Stourton Caundle . Dorset

Sundial: On S. face of tower, second stage. Stone slab with Roman numerals and iron gnomon, probably 18th century BHO. Note Incised hour-lines, with a Cross at noon.

St Peter . Stourton Caundle . Dorset – detail, the noon Cross
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St Martin. Cheselbourne . Dorset . 1631

Sundial: above south porch arch, rectangular stone slab with Roman numerals, inscribed HC 1631 WM, with wrought iron gnomon.

Note the ‘W’, cut like the medieval apotropaic mark VV Virgo Virginum. The spectacular scratch dial on this church is sited below this sundial on the W. jamb of the porch LINK

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St Mary . Piddlehinton . Dorset . 1794

St Mary . Piddlehinton . Dorset . Vertical dial 1794 [also a Millennium dial and 2 good scratch dials on this church]

Roman numerals mark the hours 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. spread over 4 stones. It is slightly baffling how the small Ham stone fits into the overall scheme. Is it a later replacement, carefully incised to match the other numerals? Or perhaps matching the materials was not a priority in the overall design?

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St James the Great . Bratton . Wilts . 1801

On S. face of the tower, a large painted dial dated 1801 ‘TEMPUS FUGIT’. The long spindly gnomon casts an impressively long shadow.

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St Barnabas . Queen Camel . Som (undated)

I haven’t yet found a date or span for this dial. Apart from the blue paint and modern gnomon, possibly C18

St Barnabas . Queen Camel . Som (undated)
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St Andrew . Trent . Dorset

The dial at Trent is hard to photograph these days because trees in the churchyard cast shadows on at least part of it for most of the day. It’s a fine Roman numeral dial but the main interest, I think, is in the numerals and short radials below the main dial. I can’t find any details about the dial online. Clearly there must have been an earlier version, now covered in some way by the main dial. Do the lines extending upwards from the numerals suggest a late mass dial?

St Andrew . Trent . Dorset – Sundial
St Andrew . Trent . Dorset – Sundial Detail with evidence of an earlier, more rustic dial
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St John . Pewsey . Wilts

Casting a long shadow: dated 1840, with elegant Roman numerals cut on a slant at the sides.

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St George . Preshute . Wilts – C18

LINK for full post

St George . Preshute . Wilts – Sundial
St George . Preshute . Wilts – Sundial
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St Andrew . West Chelborough . Dorset

LINK for full post

St Andrew . West Chelborough . Dorset – C17 Scientific Dial
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Manor House . Chicksgrove . Wilts

A fine secluded manor house W of Tisbury. Late C14, altered late C16, C17 and C19. Quite large and very plain. Possibly never marked (though a couple of faint / trace incisions eg at 8). Hard to date, but plainly earlier than the C19 work.

Manor House . Chicksgrove . Wilts – Vertical Dial
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St Thomas à Becket . Lydlinch . Dorset

A church with 3 vertical sundials (no scratch dials) and a wonderful collection of church marks in and around the porch. Full post HERE

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St James . Avebury . Wilts

Full post HERE

St James . Avebury . Wilts
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CHARLES COTTON’S FISHING HOUSE . BERESFORD . STAFFS

CUBE DIAL 1674 – detailed post HERE

FORDE ABBEY . DORSET

Two Unusual Vertical Dials – LINK HERE

SHERBORNE ABBEY . DORSET

Sherborne Abbey . Sundial

The dial is said to be C18 though that may not be certain. The gnomon is very clearly not…

ST LAURENCE . HOLWELL . DORSET 1840

Post for church and scratch dials HERE

Above the S. porch, dated 1840 (BLB). No numerals. Lines from 6am to 6pm mark carefully graduated hours, half-hours and quarter-hours. Some lines (eg 8am) emphasised. No gnomon; the presumed site perhaps slightly off-centre at the top, where there is an area of damage. The dial was renovated in 1998 by S&L Kellard of Street, and the decision must have been made not to add a modern gnomon.