CHURCH OF ST FEOCK. FEOCK . CORNWALL
GRADE ll*. C15 with earlier origins. Complete rebuild in C18 ‘incorporating C15 windows, arcade and doorways’ HE. Separate C13 bell tower (cf Gunwalloe), listed G ll. 5m S. of Truro. 50.2057 / -5.0502 / SW824384
Only 4 scratch dials are recorded for Cornwall, this being one (see also Manaccan). I assume the main reason is that the local building materials – granites, serpentine, and other hard rock – are unrewarding to work with when cutting a dial
The dial is located prominently on the left side of the porch. Clearly the stone is different from and older than the surrounding stones (BSS dates the dial as C15), so it must have been rescued from the earlier building and reused in a typical dial position during the C18 reconstruction. The graffito SS 1766 makes a good case for being the date of relocation.
The recorded dial is under the date and has 3 or 4 adjacent indistinct short lines described (BSS) as ‘remote’. I take this to mean unlinked to the large style hole. To me they seem rather random and arguably not in the right place / at the right angle to be of much use. There’s the hint of an eroded circle. This basic dial’s main interest (apart from its extreme rarity in the county) arguably lies in the way it was incorporated and marked so appropriately during the rebuilding.
A. I assume SS to be the initials of the stonemason who reset the dial – rather boastfully larger than the incised date. Given the date, it seems unlikely to reference ‘Saints’. B. As for the triangular indented ‘nostrils’ with the trace of a partial circle, I have no idea – possibly the site of a later fixing? C. The vertical line to the right is another puzzle, with its carefully cut decorative ends (one eroded). I’d like it to be a cross, but there’s no indication of a horizontal.
More interesting is the ‘pattern’ lower right. When I first looked at the stone, I presumed from the clearer lines radiating from a centre, the 3 or 4 apparent pocks, and the trace of a circle, that this was the recorded dial. The upwards direction of the lines suggested that the ‘dial’ had been upper left and that the stone was inverted when reused (as is often the case with dial stones), after which the initials and date were added.
Here’s how the stone might have looked. Perhaps there are actually 2 dials on it?
NOTE: see also the entry for MANACCAN for a second recorded Cornish dial; and St Martin for 1 or even 2 candidates as hitherto unrecorded dials.
GSS Category: Scratch Dial
All photos: Keith Salvesen