SHERBORNE ABBEY . DORSET . ST MARY THE VIRGIN – Vertical Dial 1745

St Mary the Virgin . Sherborne Abbey . Dorset

GRADE I † Founded by St. Aldhelm in AD 705 as a Saxon Cathedral, Sherborne Abbey became a Benedictine monastery, and following the Dissolution of the monasteries, a Parish Church of some splendour. Of all the architectural features, the astonishing [earliest major PEV] fan vaulting is arguably the finest. This is not the place for discussion of the merits of the church. The Wiki entry is a helpful source for an overview of SHERBORNE ABBEY 

St Mary the Virgin . Sherborne Abbey . Dorset

The large Vertical dial at the E end is impressive and visible from some distance. The Old Shirburnian Society records:

The south-facing vertical dial on the south-east end of Sherborne Abbey was erected in 1745 by Sherborne School at a cost of £5.5s.0d. It was built by the Sherborne architect Benjamin Bastard (1690-1776), son of Thomas Bastard of Blandford Forum. 

The modern gnomon is effective and casts an attractive shadow; it could be argued that its style and fixings do not quite do justice to a C18 dial.

The gallery above might suggest overuse of saturation, but the photos – at various distances to show other features – were taken on an iPhone on a bright sunny early winter’s morning, and are un-enhanced (not always the case, I must admit). We were fortunate enough to be married in this glorious building.

GSS Category: Vertical Dial; Abbey Church

All photos: Keith Salvesen