CHURCH OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY . ASHILL . SOM.
GRADE II*. C12 / C13 on the site of an earlier church; later additions and alterations. Just off the A303 between Taunton (7m) and Ilminster (3m). 50.9508 / -2.9677 / ST321172
Dom Ethelbert Horne DEH visited Ashill, during his Somerset dial-seeking perambulations, on 16 August 1915. He found 3 dials closely grouped on the SE corner of the nave. As I am finding, his descriptions from more than a century ago have been eroded by the passage of time and by work carried out in the intervening period, for example filled style holes.
115. (1) This dial is on the s.e. corner of the nave. It is 6 feet above the ground, the noonline is 2 1/2 inches in length, the stylehole is 1 1/4 inches deep by 1 inch diameter, and the aspect is s. by 10° e. Type 2
Notes: the ‘6 feet’ is from the base of the nave wall, which is below the churchyard level; the style hole has been filled in the interim
116. (2) About 10 inches to the e. of the above is another dial, which may be only a copy. The noonline is 2 1/2 inches in length, the stylehole, which is in a joint, is filled, and the aspect is as above. Type 2.
Notes: the lines are more spidery, less distinct, and more random than dial 1
117. (3) Two feet below the last named is another, also probably a copy. The noonline is 4 1/2 inches in length, the stylehole, which is in a joint, is filled, and the aspect is as above. Type 2. August 16th 1915.
DIALS 1 & 2
DEH notes that ‘it is rather difficult to determine whether Nos. 2 and 3 are only copies of No. 1 or whether they are original’. Having seen and photographed (as he could not) the dials, I am wondering whether the rudimentary dial 2 was in fact the first, with ‘dial 1’ cut later, copying and improving on it.
Dial 3 is rather different to either of its companions. DEH categorises each dial as being in his ‘Type 2’ (of about 12); perhaps that is what he means by ‘copy’ – ie the general style, not the physical details
GSS Category: Scratch Dial
All photos: Keith Salvesen