TINTINHULL . SOMERSET . ST MARGARET OF ANTIOCH – Triple Polar Scaphe Dial

St Margaret of Antioch . Tintinhull . Somerset

GRADE I † C13 et seq, on early C12 site. Gradual development but (unusually) with little obvious C19 work BHO. Good C16 bench ends. S porch built c1440, originally thatched, with the cube sundial added later. The scratch dials of St Margaret will be written up separately from this unusual dial that, in fact, is not strictly cubic. 5m NW of Yeovil; just S of dread A303. 50.9746 / -2.7156 / ST498197

St Margaret of Antioch . Tintinhull . Somerset – Scaphe Sundial

ADDENDUM 4.11.22

I wrote this piece without access to the BSS dial records, temporarily unavailable online. I had originally described this dial rather broadly as a cube, aware that it wasn’t quite right. Having now got back into the archive, I am better informed (if not wiser). Some of the points I raise below are clarified. Here is the official entry:

There are 3 polar scaphe dials on the porch gable. Possibly C17 or C18. The dial probably showed all hours of sunlight when correctly installed. Now the orientation is incorrect, the polar axis points East and the dial is shaded by a yew tree. The stone is heavily lichened.

DIAL

The large block of stone cut as a sundial is balanced (as it seems) on the end of the S porch roof. Its usefulness as a dial nowadays is reduced by it being partly obscured by the shadows of nearby trees. I have not seen similar dials in England but I believe there are a few in Scotland. I need to do some more research on this.

I confess that I have no idea how this dial might have worked in practice, nor can I comment on the design, nor suggest how many dials (3?) or even ‘shadow casting edges’ there are. Possibly it is unique? I can’t find any helpful information online at the moment. In practice, I suspect that one would need a ladder to examine the dial closely and work out how it functions. Any information would be welcome.

St Margaret of Antioch . Tintinhull . Somerset – Scaphe Sundial

GSS Category: Scaphe Dial; Scaphe Sundial; Multiple Dial

All photos: Keith Salvesen

MUDFORD . SOMERSET . ST MARY – Cube Dial & 2 Scratch Dials

St Mary . Mudford . Somerset

ST MARY . MUDFORD . SOMERSET

GRADE I † Mostly early C14 and C15. Built with local stone: lias and ham. A fine C17 cube dial, 2 slightly unrewarding scratch dials, impressive gargoyles. A complete set of 5 bells dated 1582, 1621, 1623, 1664 and 1666, all by Purdue family. Some pews have graffiti from C17 on. 3m N of Yeovil. 50.9773 / -2.6086 / ST573199

CUBE DIAL

St Mary . Mudford . Somerset – Cube Dial

C17 cuboid sundial as finials to gable coping HE

ASPECTS SE & SW

The SE face has a large gnomon inserted vertically into almost the whole depth of the cube. There are 4 (possibly 5) faint lines LHS that mark the morning’s progress. The SW face is (now?) plain, with an angled blade top R at roughly 45º.

ASPECTS SE & NE

The NE face has a blade gnomon at much the same angle as one the SW face. There’s plenty of lichen and no detectable marks.

ASPECTS NE & NW

The ‘back’ of the cube – the NW face – has no gnomon, but there are holes suggesting the location of one. No dial lines visible.

NOTE: It is almost impossible to get satisfactory photographs of all the faces of a cube dial. Two will always be in shade. Perhaps I need to go back at a different time of day. Or year.

MUDFORD: TWO SCRATCH DIALS

The two dials are on the inner face of the buttress at the E end of the church, one above the other – a less than optimal location. Dial 1 is very simple: a style hole with 2 lines descending either side of the vertical, in effect making the noon line the space between them. Dial 2 has 4 clear lines radiating from the style hole. These are E of the vertical, marking roughly 1 to 4 (there is no noon line). On both dials there are faint hints of other lines now eroded.

DEH recorded the Mudford dials in May 2015

GSS Category: Cube Dial; Scratch Dial

All photos: Keith Salvesen