DOWNTON . WILTS . ST LAURENCE – 2 Scratch Dials

St Laurence . Downton . Wilts

ST LAURENCE . DOWNTON . WILTS

GRADE I † C11 nave; C13 transepts; C14 chancel. From C17, alterations and restorations inc by Wyatt in 1860. Large and interesting cruciform church PEV. Marble Feversham family monuments by Scheemakers. Significant local legacy from NeolithicIron AgeRoman (Villa) and Saxon times. 9m S of Salisbury. 50.9937 / -1.7433 / SU181216

DIALS

St Laurence has 2 dials on the 2nd buttress E of the porch, one above the other. The upper one is a fine example of a large dial filling the dial stone. The lower is so badly damaged / eroded that it would be easy miss; and it is quite hard to imagine what it looked like originally.

DIAL 1

Dial 1 is encircled, with 13 lines and 24 pocks around the perimeter and forming 2 crosses . This large dial not only takes up the width of the stone, the circumference continues onto the stone below as do some lines (esp. 11am). The noon line ends in a 4-dot cross on the main stone, and the 9am line has a 5-dot cross on the lower stone.

The gnomon hole is of particular interest; I haven’t come across a square hole with (apparently) a circular one inside it before. Possibly the original gnomon was a basic rod, and its round hole later enlarged to accommodate a more visible square rod.

DIAL 2

Dials Locations

GSS Category: Scratch Dial; Mass Dial; Medieval Sundial; Church Dated Initials

All photos: Keith Salvesen