GRADE 1. C12 chancel, nave; continuing development; Largely rebuilt C16, tower in C17. Mid-Victorian restoration (Cutts). Cotswolds, between Winchcombe and Stow-on-the-Wold. 51.949 / -1.8685 / SP091278
TWC in his 1935 ‘Origins and Use of Scratch Dials’ includes Temple Guiting in his county lists (along with nearby Guiting Power). There is no other information that I can find in any of the usual resources nor going beyond them. The century-by-century work on this church make it hard to know where to look, especially as stones may have been relocated or even removed.
Within an hour of posting this, more research revealed Guiting sightings of 3 dials. An article by Rev. P. Sullivan for the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society (1924, Vol 46, 169-86) lists many Glos. dials including the following:
All are quite high up, which is no real excuse for missing all of them, even when in a hurry. I clearly need to go back. Please stop here unless you want to check out a less obvious / certain dial…
With limited time for a visit, the only dial-like marks I could find were under window of the transept (if that’s the right term) on the N. side. There are 2 clear lines; one faint line; and a couple of possibles but too eroded to be sure. I may easily have missed a real dial(s); this is the candidate I noticed.
My thoughts are that this is a small, simple dial cut on an older-seeming stone; that it has been relocated, presumably from the S. front; and that it has been rotated 90º anticlockwise. There’s the hint of a filled style hole below the dark patch that looks different from the lichen.
DEDICATION † ST MARGARET OF ANTIOCH – C12 origin, further building C13, later additions & restoration. The squat timber-framed bell-turret HE is C19.
LISTING † GRADE II*
LOCATION † Off the beaten track 5 miles NW. of Winchcombe, 7 miles E. of Tewksbury. One of several ‘dial’ hamlets or villages in the Parish of OverburyBHO LINK, reached by a network of rural lanes. The first sight of St Margaret and its bell-turret was an interesting surprise. 51.9906 / -2.0267 / SO982324
DIAL † W. jamb of the porch door, an encircled and seemingly random collection of pocks of different sizes and depths, some extending outside the circle including what must be the noon-line but marked several degrees to the left. An apparent style hole, mortared, is on roughly the right horizontal line, but way out of the natural vertical line. Very mysterious and impossible for an amateur to interpret. My tentative afterthought is that these anomalies were a way of adapting the dial and the shadow cast to adjust for the orientation of the church.
NOTES † At the time I visited, I was looking only for one dial based on the Glos. list compiled by TW, and this was obviously it. I didn’t anyway have time to investigate further. However, since then I have seen a clue that suggests another, possibly more complex dial. So I need to return one day to find it.
LOCATION † STANTON is four miles north of Winchcombe, one of several attractive Cotswold villages in the immediate area. Many of the local churches feature scratch dials, Glos. as a whole being a hotspot. The Church of St Michael has, besides a scratch dial, a time-worn sundial over the porch. 52.0067 / -1.9013 / SP068342
DIALS † The scratch dial is on the right side of the fine projecting porch towards the edge, and easily visible as you approach. It looks as elementary a circle dial as one could imagine. The sundial is set high on the parapet above the doorway, seemingly old, definitely battered, and with a tilted gnomon.
STANTON: THE SUNDIAL
NOTES † Apart from inclusion in TW‘s extensive list of Glos. dials, I have found no further information. Not referenced in BHO / BLB / HE. For interest: the VG Stanton website notes “several bench ends are deeply ringed by the dog-chains of the sheepdogs, brought by their masters to church” and that stone benches in the porch were for the infirm to sit on and lean against the wall: “the weakest go to the wall”.
LINKS † Tony Wood TW: Mass Dials in Gloucestershire LINK ; Stanton Village Church online LINK