This post relates directly to its companion in Pt 1. Both articles feature the remarkable cube dial dated 1689, now preserved inside the Grade I listed church of St Nicholas, Trellech, Monmouth – the original and a fine recent (2007) wooden replica. You can find images of the original dial and each of its faces, with detailed descriptions, HERE. The location is 5m S of Monmouth 51.7459 / -2.725 / SO500054
DIAL . 2007
The images of Face 4 below illustrate a frequent experience with cube dials. Invariably, prevailing conditions preclude more than 3 faces being properly photographed. One face will always frustrate all attempts to get a decent photo. Furthermore, it is very difficult to improve a poor photo – it just becomes a different kind of poor. Quite often the only answer is to make the image B&W to catch detail .With apologies, this is what has emerged from the darkroom.
Below the dial are inscriptions on the substantial columns, with carvings that relate to the 3 features of historical importance to the village and its community: Tump Terret; Harold’s Stones; and Virtuous Well.
GRADE I † Early C14 with earlier origins; reconstruction & restorations 1890s. An exceptionally fine and well preserved medieval church (Cadw); One of the finest churches in the county (PEV). Coat-of-Arms of Charles II dated 1683. Weathercock of 1792. You need no further recommendation. 5m S of Monmouth. 51.7459 / -2.725 / SO500054
A wonderful C18 cube dial dated 1689, the gift of Lady Probert. Once, it stood in the village near the school. It was moved in 1895 and one source suggests that a concrete cast was made. The Latin inscriptions on the dial are descriptive of 3 features that are of historical importance to the village: Tump Terret; Harold’s Stones; and Virtuous Well. The details (PEV) are:
The detailed BSS record adds further details, including the full Latin motto on S, N & E faces: EUNDO HORA . DI…EM . DEPASCIT (The Hour Itself Consumes the Day).
Also included are the inscriptions on the square stone below the dial: 1. Terret Tump – O QUOT HIC SEPULTI (O How Many Buried Here); 2. Harold’s Stones – HIC FUIT VITOR HAROLD (Here was Harold Victorious); 3. DOM MAGD PROBERT OSTENDIT (Lady Maud Probert set this out to view).
PART 2 will examine the excellent modern wooden replica (out)standing in a small field by a crossroads. It has been beautifully designed and is a dial of distinction in its own right.
GSS Category: Cube Dial; Multiple Dial
All photos Keith Salvesen; Pevsner extract Gwent & Monmouthshire; BSS records; church noticeboard
The attractive gardens of the Van Loon Museum contains 3 very different dials. In the centre is an armillary sphere (C19?). By the steps is a complicated early scaphe dial dated 1582. I have included B&W images, which can sometimes be useful for seeing details on multiple dials. The third dial with a weather vane is high up in the centre of the upper gallery overlooking the garden. I am trying to find out a date for it.
SCAPHE DIAL 1578
VERTICAL DIAL AND WEATHER VANE
GSS Categories: Armillary Sphere; Cube Dial; Multi Dial; Scaphe Dial; Modern Dial; Amsterdam Dial
Broughton Grange dates from early C17. Gradual development resulted in a fine house with an extensive estate owned by the Morrell family and associated with the Bloomsbury Group via Lady Ottoline. The whole estate was bought in the 1990s. New gardens have been beautifully landscaped and an arboretum created. The property is renowned as one of the finest contemporary private gardens, to which there is public access. You can find out more here: BROUGHTON GRANGE 3m SW of Banbury 52.0415 / 1.3776 / SP4338
The dial stands at the centre of the Parterre and Rose Garden, overlooking the smart box hedges. It is dated MDCCLI (1751). I’ve spent some time trying to figure out the inscription, some of which cannot be read even with a magnifying glass. I have settled (provisionally) on Tempora Servio, ‘I Serve the Times’ or a similar conjunction of tempus and servere. This formulation does not specifically appear in eg the expanded edition of Gatty; however tempora is in common usage, often with its companion, mores. Any other suggestions welcome, a definitive ruling would be ideal.
GRADE II* † C12 origin; alterations / enlargement in C14, C15, C16; restored 1872 (Wyatt). Walls mainly rubble stone and flint. A lovely setting, with a fine manor house. Much older-seeming even than the ubiquitous ‘Hardyesque’ description in these parts. Subtly hidden away 8m NE of Dorchester. 50.7827 / -2.3198 / SY775981
From the ground, this is a difficult dial to admire. It is high up, eroded, damaged, and gnomon-less. It would be easy to dismiss it as a disappointment after you have negotiated the narrow lanes that lead circuitously to the church. Luckily I brought a real camera with me (for scratch dials I just use my phone) to catch the details of 3 vertical dials on churches in the area.
The dial, on a rectangular stone slab, is dated 1671, and marks the hours from VIII am to VII pm. The motto across the top reads UT UMBRA SIC VITAAs a shadow so is life, one of several similar motto variants commonly found. The motto is enclosed within the initials A and R. (BHO elides the initials and the motto to form AUT UMBRA SIC VITAR).
Wolfeton House (sometimes Wolveton) is a fine Grade 1 Elizabethan manor house with medieval origins. It stands amidst the the water meadows of the River Frome near Charminster, just N of Dorchester. Admired by Hardy. For more about the house, its history, and how to stay in the Gatehouse (dated 1534) see:
Some time ago we went to Wolfeton in connection with the the Pevsner Buildings of England series. I was able to photograph this most interesting sundial, though with a rather rustic camera and in low light. The dial is not in the optimum place for its primary purpose, but with its pleasing symmetrical design it suits where it stands.
The inscription is an intriguing mystery. At the time I was less engaged with dials, or I might have made more effort to record the details and to take a decent photo. As it is, I cannot make much sense of it. The initial letter U… could perhaps be the start of Umbra? But that assumes the words are in Latin. I have checked the main motto resources including Gatty (original, and revised & expanded); and various less comprehensive sources. I will add the translation if I can make any more sense of the text. Meanwhile, any ideas would be welcome. Actual knowledge, the more so.
UMBRA VIDET UMBRAM VIVE HODIE. A shadow marks the shadow. Live to day.
As it turns out, Gatty did record this dial, attributing it to a neighbouring village Bradford Peverell rather than Charminster. She noted the inscription is somewhat defaced. The dial was possibly erected by George Purling about 1815-20, when the garden was laid out). The same motto is on the tower of Broughton-Gifford Church, near Melksham,
HOW THE DIAL WORKS
This is a polar dial, with the end edges of the cross pieces acting as gnomons (cf the polar dial at Tintinhull). The dial should be oriented so these point north, ie with the inscription on the south face. However, it is clearly not orientated like that, so it now acts as an interesting garden ornament. John Foad (BSS) has kindly marked up a photo to show how the dial would work if correctly positioned.
The inscription might give a clue to the dial’s date. My amateur guess is that it is somewhere between mid-C18 and early C19.
GSS Category: Multiple Dial; Old Dial; Garden Dial
All photos: Keith Salvesen; *John Foad BSS for additional material / expertise (see Addendum)
GRADE I † The Church forms part of the Boconnoc Estate and has no Dedication*. Probably C12 origins as the Manor Chapel; gradual development; restored 1873. Now in the care of the Cornwall Historic Churches Trust. 10 m SW of Liskeard. 50.4159 / -4.6099 / SX146605
The time-worn dial is set into the apex of the porch and canted westwards. Dated 1716, it is also inscribed with a set of 3 double initials RC, DT, & TG. ‘RC’ is in a different style, and the date – perhaps significantly – is below the two other pairs of initials. Possibly the latter installed the dial in honour of the former.
The dial shows 1/4 as well as 1/2 hours. The 12 of noon is replaced by a cross. IIII is used for IV. The gnomon is presumably not original, but has clearly been in situ for a considerable time.
* Sadly no St Boconnoc is listed in the Ox. Book of Saints)
GSS Category: Vertical Dial. Old (post medieval) Dial