St Peter and St Paul. Kimpton . Hants


GRADE I C13, C14, C15, C18; C19 works & restorations. Cruciform, with a south aisle to the nave, south porch, and western tower. Single cell nave and chancel of c1220. Blocked north door in the nave. Unusual C19 2-stage tower is pleasingly incongruous. 6m W of Andover, just N of the dread A303. 51.2181 / -1.5988 /  SU281466


BSS records from 2013 are based on a survey in 1995 which mentioned 2 dials quite close to each other on SE angle of S transept. For both dials BSS notes: Known only from reference. No other details. No longer extant.

ARG made the original record on his visit in July 1925, noting one dial and a doubtful one, both on the SE angle of S transept. His descriptions are as follows:

DIAL 1. On the large quoin on SE angle of S transept... late C14. He described it as an imperfect dial, with some lines LLQ, 4 of which ended in pocks; and some pocks LRQ with 2 lines extending beyond them.

DIAL 2. Noted as close-by and slightly doubtful, with a very small style hole and perhaps 3 lines on the lower half.

I found nothing to match ARG’s descriptions but I did find a plausible and a doubtful dial in the same general area.


This stone doesn’t match the others in the immediate vicinity, and gives the distinct impression that it has been relocated and probably resized to fit. I think it plausible to claim this as a crude and eroded dial with traces of stubby lines in the noon area. It looked quite convincing on the day. Possibly it was relocated to a more prominent position, whether as a working dial or perhaps as a decorative quirk.


St Peter and St Paul. Kimpton . Hants – Two adjacent scratch dials. Possibly.


This design is on a long stone close to Dial 1. Image 1 shows the stone as it is, horizontal. The 4 graduated dents caught my eye, being clearly created for a reason. There’s a slight curve to them; and a patch of cement that may (as elsewhere) fill a gnomon hole. Also – revealed in close-up – there is undeniably a deliberate thin straight line that comes directly from the hole (if it is / was one).

Rotating a photo of a dial can be useful in interpreting it (Images 2 & 3). A 90º turn here reveals a slightly more meaningful dial design. That said, to work as a dial stone, the long horizontal block would have had to be relocated from a place where it was vertical.

St Peter & St Paul . Kimpton . Hants – print (BHO)

GSS Category: Scratch Dial; Mass Dial; Medieval Sundial

All photos: Keith Salvesen


St Peter & St Paul . Kings Somborne . Hants


GRADE II* † C12 origins then C13 and C14 addition and rebuilding. Much C19 work inc. rebuilding tower & S porch. A most attractive long low church with timber belfry and spire. A rewarding church to explore: see BHO. 3m S of Stockbridge; 7m N of Romsey. 51.077 /  -1.4872 / SU360309


There are 4 dials recorded for the church, but only 3 are visible. The 4th seems now to be concealed behind a boiler. The 3 visible dials are all on the jambs of a S nave window. ARG notes that the window was inserted into an old doorway All are inverted, presumably during the 1880 restoration. Maybe this links up with the rebuilding of the S porch and relocation of stones originally there (a more obvious position). BHO notes various window alterations and the movement of stones incised with ornamental crosses and inscriptions… the stones have unfortunately been reset upside down.

St Peter & St Paul . Kings Somborne . Hants – 3 scratch dials


Dial 1 is inverted on the L jamb. LHS and below, the style hole is badly damaged. Otherwise, the 12 lines are more or less clear, with differing lengths and angles. There is a trace of a semicircle, marked by perimeter pocks. The noon line is considerably elongated and, with 1, has larger perimeter pocks. 1 also has a short extension of 4 dots, perhaps to emphasise a service significant to this church or community.

DIALS 2 & 3

St Peter & St Paul . Kings Somborne . Hants – Scratch Dials 2 & 3

Both dials are on the R jamb, inverted, on the same stone, and actually touching. Unusually (perhaps very rare) both are complete circles with 24-hour marking. Dial 2 has 24 radials; Dial 3 has 24 pocks.

Dial 2 is encircled and imaginatively decorative, with radials for a full 24 hours. The spacing is somewhat random. The style hole is quite deep, and obviously enlarged. The (upside-down) noon line is deeper cut, as are 10, & 11. So too is 1, which is also extended with 2 pocks. This corresponds with Dial 1 and seems to confirm that some importance was attached to that time of day.

St Peter & St Paul . Kings Somborne . Hants – Scratch Dial 2

Dial 3 is also a complete circle, with a small style hole. It is eroded, with only the (upwards) noon line and a couple of fainter lines clear. Most of the daylight hours are marked by pocks on the circumference; close examination has shown that in fact there are 24 pocks. It appears as if squeezed into the space between the upper stone and the lower edge of the stone

St Peter & St Paul . Kings Somborne . Hants – Scratch Dials 2 & 3

BSS drawing of dial 3


Dial 4 is located on the SE quoin stone of the Chancel. The record indicates that it has 12 lines, mostly curved, and 2 above the horizontal. BSS notes Position is obscured by a hut containing an oil tank. So much so that I couldn’t find it at all. I intend to try again next time I’m in the area – perhaps taking a torch.

ARG in 1923 recorded that the dial consisted of a circle with 10 lines in the lower half, 5 of which end in pocks; and 2 lines in the upper half. None of the lines are straight; most are distinctly curved. Sadly, although he photographed dials 2 & 3, he did not take dial 4.

St Peter & St Paul . Kings Somborne . Hants

GSS Category: Scratch Dial

All photos: Keith Salvesen