STANTON ST BERNARD . WILTS . ALL SAINTS – SCRATCH DIAL

Stanton St Bernard . Wilts . All Saints

STANTON ST BERNARD . WILTS . ALL SAINTS

Grade II. Mid C13, with a Norman font suggesting earlier origins. Tower C15. By early C19, dilapidated and demolished (apart from the tower) and rebuilt. The work was inferior and re-rebuilding was soon required. Close to the Kennet & Avon canal between Devizes and Pewsey. 51.3598 / -1.8703 / SU09162

DIAL

Badly eroded and degraded, the dial is located on the SW face of the buttress S of the W door. Apart from the semicircle at the top it is hard to discern how the dial might have looked. At first sight, this is a dial cut across 2 stones (there’s a hint of a circle on the lower stone), with the style hole presumably lost in the damaged area (the mortar line looks too high for one). Listed by TWC; not in the BSS register

Alternatively, possibly the combination of dilapidation, demolition and double rebuilding in C19 included rearranging some of the stonework of the tower that otherwise survived the chaos. Conceivably the present visible ‘semicircle stone’ was parted from a companion stone cut with the rest of the dial that was repurposed elsewhere.

Stanton St Bernard . Wilts . All Saints – Scratch Dial and Graffiti

Apart from the dial, there are quite a few witch marks and graffiti / initials. I take the double triangle mark beside the dial to be an emphatic ritual protection mark rather than, for example, a mason’s mark.

GSS Category: Scratch Dial; Witch Marks; Graffiti

All photos – Keith salvesen

WINTERBOURNE BASSETT . WILTS . ST KATHERINE & ST PETER – 4 DIALS

Winterbourne Bassett . Wilts . St Katherine & St Peter

ST KATHERINE & ST PETER . WINTERBOURNE BASSETT . WILTS

GRADE 1. Records from C12. Mainly late C13 / C14, expanded C15, restored mid-C19. An architectural gem (Betjeman). Dedication has varied over time. 4m N. of Avebury. 51.4731 / -1.8554 / SU101749

DIALS

4 dials identified: 3 scratch dials and 1 ‘very early scientific dial’ (BBS)

DIAL 1

Priest’s Door R. Pock dial with 5 clear dots on pinkish stone (similar position and style to eg Maiden Newton Dorset).

Winterbourne Bassett . Wilts . St Katherine & St Peter – Scratch Dial 1

DIALS 2 & 3

Priest’s Door R, lower down. Dial 2 is a conventional dial with 4 lines in L. lower quadrant; noon line emphasised. Adjacent to less clear Dial 3 with filled style hole and 2 clear thin radials and (perhaps) a very faint noon line. There’s a possible additional dial on this stone, at best a style hole with eroded lines.

Winterbourne Bassett . Wilts . St Katherine & St Peter – Scratch Dials 2 & 3

DIALS 1, 2 & 3

Winterbourne Bassett . Wilts . St Katherine & St Peter – Scratch Dials 1 – 3
Winterbourne Bassett . Wilts . St Katherine & St Peter – Priest’s Door with 3 scratch dials

DIAL 4

High on quoin on S. side, a far more sophisticated gnomon dial. The BSS record from some years ago states: ‘Probably upright Roman numerals with cross for noon (not easy to see). Very early scientific dial. Gnomon may be a replacement’.

A photo taken last month removes the doubt. The incised lines – of variable width, some with a slight wedge shape, some quite deep (or less eroded) – have Roman numerals from VII round to VI. The IX to III horizontal line of numerals works well. The noon cross is very clear. I wonder if the stumpy little gnomon indicates that it is old (even if not original). Did gnomon design later develop to more elegant and longer markers?

Winterbourne Bassett . Wilts . St Katherine & St Peter – Scientific Dial with Roman Numerals
Winterbourne Bassett . Wilts . St Katherine & St Peter – Scientific Dial with Roman Numerals

GSS Category: Scratch Dial; Scientific Dial

All photos – Keith Salvesen

BRATTON . WILTS . ST JAMES THE GREAT . SCRATCH DIAL; Painted dial 1801

CHURCH OF ST JAMES THE GREAT . BRATTON . WILTS

CHURCH OF ST JAMES THE GREAT . BRATTON . WILTS

GRADE ll*. Mainly C14 / C15, broadly Perp. Earlier origins. C19 work by G. Scott & T. Wyatt. Solitary in a combe behind the village and a real challenge to discover (ignore ‘Church Lane’). Well worth the effort to visit, as is Bratton Camp iron-age hill fort with its early white horse to W. 51.2665 / -2.1244 / ST914519

DIAL

CHURCH OF ST JAMES THE GREAT . BRATTON . WILTS – SCRATCH DIAL

A simple small dial, encircled, with several slightly curving radials. 3 or 4 pocks that may relate to it. Located W. of the S. porch, level with the head stop L. of the arch.

OLD DIAL

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

GSS Categories: Scratch Dail; Old Dial

All photos – Keith Salvesen

MANNINGFORD BRUCE . WILTS . ST PETER – DOUBLE SCRATCH DIAL

ST PETER . MANNINGFORD BRUCE . WILTS

GRADE 1 . On a Roman site. Late C11 or early C12 origin. Development C13 and C15, restoration 1882. Romanesque features. Between Amesbury and Marlborough, close to UPAVON. 51.3212 / -1.801 / SU139580

DIALS

E. quoin stones of transept. Two adjacent and remarkably similar encircled dials with complete semicircles of radials. Both have additional pocks in LR quadrant. Both edge into the mortar at the top; and Dial 2 is cut short by the quoin edge RHS. Possibly this evidences relocation of one or both dials.

DIAL 1 (upper)

Complete semicircle of lines, 5 pocks. Equal 15º radials. BSS notes ‘eroded, damaged, irregular dial with 15º lines in both quadrants’.

DIAL 2 (lower)

Also complete semicircle of lines, 5 pocks, 15º radials. BSS notes as ‘worn’ and with shorter radials.

It is almost as if two people competed to make the most complete or accurate dial to the same design

St Peter . Manningford Bruce . Wilts – Scratch Dials

NOTES

Dial 3? Near the bottom of the image above there are 3 radials spreading downwards from the mortar line. The farthest left is vertical, and (if a dial) is the noon line. The lines were clearly deliberately cut, and it is quite possible that there is a filled style hole above them, though it is hard to tell from the image.

St Peter . Manningford Bruce . Wilts – possible 3rd scratch dial

Graffiti: Initials, dates on quoin stones

GSS Category – Scratch Dial

Dial photographs: Jenny John, to whom many thanks. I recently failed to visit St Peter, having driven through the village en route from Upavon to Marlborough. Next time, I clearly need to check it…

Photographs of the Church: Wilts Council / History Centre; ‘Vale of Pewsey Churches’

UPAVON . WILTS . ST MARY THE VIRGIN – FOUR SCRATCH DIALS

Upavon . Wilts . St Mary the Virgin

GRADE 1. C11 origins connected to St Wandrille (Normandy). Early C13 and early C15, with C19 restorations. Midway between Amesbury and Marlborough; close to Kennet &Avon canal. 51.2943 / -1.8071 / SU135550

Upavon . Wilts . St Mary the Virgin. Scratch Dial 1

DIALS

BSS records 4 dials, all on quoin stones of the tower. Two are obvious (1 & 2). The other 2, described as eroded, are much less clear. Quite possibly my ID of at least one of these is incorrect – at the time I only knew of the 2 main dials and didn’t have locations / descriptions of the 2 degraded ones to go on. My photos of 4 don’t quite match up with the BSS record. Comments welcome.

DIAL 1

An eroded encircled dial that appears to have been relocated. The lower radials end abruptly, suggesting that one or more originally extended beyond the edge of the stone.

DIAL 2

A simple dial with 2 clear-cut radials, possible traces of a couple more. Several pocks in the area, probably not all related to the dial. Style hole in the mortar line.

Upavon . Wilts . St Mary the Virgin . Scratch Dial 2

DIAL 3

A dial with a filled style hole and a puzzling orientation. A single clear angled line on eroded soft stone; a less defined rough horizontal line from the centre to the quoin edge. This was perhaps the noon line on the stone, later relocated and rotated 90• anticlockwise.

DIAL 4 (?)

More contentious: if this is a 4th dial, it is in very poor condition. There is the hint of a style hole, with an apparent noon-line and other trace lines. Not totally convincing, I agree.

UNDIAL

Two sideways arrows, faint (L) and distinct (R) with other trace lines. Possibly apotropaic marks, or perhaps doodles… or helpful directions to the porch.

GSS CATEGORY: Scratch Dials

All photos: Keith Salvesen

ALTON BARNES . WILTS . ST MARY – SCRATCH DIAL(S)

St Mary . Alton Barnes . Wilts

ST MARY . ALTON BARNES . WILTS

GRADE 1. Saxon church, C10-C11 origins with C14 reworking; later work, C19 alterations, subsequent restoration. ‘Awletone’ was first recorded in 825. A yew tree in the churchyard is said to be c1700 old. Historically, at various times united with and detached from All Saints Alton Priors, which is situated just a couple of fields away. Midway between Pewsey and Devizes, close to K&A canal and Marlborough Downs. 51.3572 / -1.8467 / SU107620

St Mary . Alton Barnes . Wilts – Scratch Dial 1

DIAL 1

This unassuming little dial is on the N. side of the church, facing the Alton Barnes white horse carved in chalk on Milk Hill nearby. It does not seem to be the dial mentioned elsewhere, for which see Dial 2. I have seen no record of it.

The mortar line acts as the horizontal, and a full circle incorporates both radials and pocks. I sense that this is quite an early dial, perhaps dating from the C14 work on the church. I assume it was originally on the S. side of the church; it must have been relocated to the N. side at some later time. It may look somewhat crude, but fairly robust cutting may have helped to preserve it over the centuries.

DIAL 2

Scratch sundial on south-east quoins’ HE

St Mary . Alton Barnes . Wilts – Scratch Sundial 2

This is the dial that seems to be referred to elsewhere. I speculate C18 or possibly C17. It is high up under the eaves, so much so that it was half in shadow at noon (see gallery below). Perhaps that indicates a relocation at some time, but to a less useful position as a sundial. With a gnomon at the top and in the shade, the dial’s effectiveness would be notably diminished. Perhaps, by then, it was mainly decorative.

St Mary . Alton Barnes . Wilts – Scratch Sundial 2

UNDIAL

Quite often a possible dial suggests itself, though is probably (or on closer inspection, definitely) not one. Here, I liked the look of the filled style hole and the pocks in a plausible formation. I inverted the image to see if it looked any more likely. Not really (I’m happy to be corrected by an expert).

GSS Category: Scratch Dial

All photos: Keith Salvesen