February 26, 2016

Five sundials

Here I am again with a post for Amy's Five on Friday meme. Link at the bottom, as always. Go visit other participants!

This week I'm doing sundials. I've been sorting out my photo collection and realised I have lots of pictures of them. Let me share a few....

First up is a fine example from Peterborough Cathedral. In this photo you can clearly see that sundials work 'backwards' - noon is at the bottom and the other hours go the opposite way from a clock. The sun that casts the shadow comes from above and moves from east to west, so it's obvious that they have to be that way round, but it makes me wonder why the early clock makers made them go the other way.  

Here's one from Whatton Gardens near Loughborough. I love its inscription "I mark no hours but the bright ones". Without sunshine a sundial doesn't work - so dark hours don't count!

I really like this one. It's one of two on the outer wall of Rudston Church in East Yorkshire. I'm reliably informed that they are called scratch dials, and probably date from the Saxon era.  Rudston is a very important village - though it looks rather small and insignificant these days - with a long and varied history.  I'll do a long post one day on the other blog. Meanwhile take a look at the sundial. It has no gnomon (the bit that casts the shadow) and would have been worked by putting a stick in the hole.

Long before the days of town clocks people still needed to know the time, so the worthies of Berwick Upon Tweed provided this handy piece for their residents on the end of a main thoroughfare bridge. 

And here's one of my personal favourites. It's at Norton Priory near Runcorn in Cheshire and was created by Bevis Sale.


  1. Loved reading this very interesting post. Thanks for sharing

  2. Five wonderful sundials and I love the last one - is it a grean man? (Thinking back to your last post for Five on Friday.) I think I remember visiting Rudston church to see a really tall standing stone but I don't remember seeing the sundial. Thanks for sharing your photos:)

    1. He is a green man! And you're right. Rudston has the tallest monolith in the country.

  3. What a great five, I loved looking at the wonderful examples of sun dials. Have a great weekend.

  4. A very interesting post. I photograph sundials if I see any on my travels. They're fascinating and I must look closer at the detail of the ones on walls. I'm usually attracted by ones with some sort of verse. My dream is to go up to Berwick-on-Tweed where some of my ancestors came from so thank you for sharing a photo of a street and what looks like a bridge with the sundial on it. Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. (Kelham Island Museum in Sheffield is fascinating. I have a booklet giving some walks around the nearby streets and the River Don. I must go there again on a sunny day when everything looks a lot brighter).

  5. I love sundials too it was fascinating to read about your 5. Have a great weekend. :)

  6. Love sundials, really enjoyed your photos.

  7. Fascinating post - didn't realise sundials came in so many varieties!

  8. These are brilliant especially the last one. How far we have come since then with all our gadgets. :-)

  9. These are great! I have one of rusty iron in my garden...

  10. They are all interesting, but I find the Green Man especially beautiful.


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