The British Sundial Society

Promoting the Art and Science of Gnomonics since 1989

This dial is on the headstone of Samuel Turner, which he designed himself.  He died in 1784, aged 67.  An inscription describes the man: “His occupation a shepherd, his amusements were the beautiful scenes of nature, his retirements the study of surveying, dialing, engraving &c”  On either side of the direct east dial are carved a map of a farm, surveying instruments (compasses, ruler and protractor), two sheep, and an image of Samuel with palette in hand painting a picture of a farm house.  For a full description see Roger Bowling’s article in Bulletin 23(ii), June 2009.

 

Known as Queen Mary’s Dial, this has been called the finest example of its facet head class. It takes the form of a sandstone prism standing on its point, with 20 triangular facets elaborately carved with coats of arms and monograms of King Charles I and his Queen Henrietta Maria.  There are various bowl, heart and triangular sinkings with dials.  In some the gnomon is the nose of a carved face, in others it is an open fret worked metal plate.  The top of the pedestal is an inverted hemisphere above a square column decorated with acanthus leaves and mounted on three high spreading octagonal steps.

The steps are probably later than the dial, which is dated 1633 and was made for the Scottish Coronation of Charles I by John Mylne III, Master Mason to the King.  Royal Accounts show that it cost £408 15s 6d (Scots) plus further charges for painting and gilding, illustrating that at the time it was customary to paint these stone sculptures.

The June edition of the BSS Bulletin will be delivered to members shortly. For those who can’t wait, or for non-members who want to see what they are missing, a sample article by Geoffrey Lane about the Pewterer’s Hall glass sundial is available now.

Further information including an update to the cumulative table of contents will, I regret, have to wait until the end of the webmaster’s holiday!

Arrangements are already well in hand for our next Conference.

The 2016 Conference will be organised and administered by a team comprising Doug Bateman, Mike Shaw, Bill Visick, Chris and Liz Williams.

Please mark and reserve 15 -17 April 2016 firmly and prominently in your diaries! The conference will follow the traditional Friday afternoon to Sunday luncheon format.

Liverpool, and its environs, is a location not yet visited by the Society’s Conference. The venue has been booked: Jurys Inn in the redeveloped docks area. There is much to see and do beyond dialling; members may well wish to consider extending their stay. Some initial information about the location is available here and will be expanded over time.

Booking forms, and a call for papers and exhibits, will be issued early in September – with the Newsletter and Bulletin and on the website.

2016 Conference Team

This is a repeat of an earlier post but, for convenience, the contents are now included directly rather than as a separate PDF.

The British Sundial Society announces its fourth awards competition for excellent sundials. The only requirement is that the dials must have been made or restored between January 2010 and December 2015; otherwise this is an open competition. Entries in the form of one or more photographs and a brief description are invited from amateurs, professionals, members and non- members, from the UK and overseas. Awards will be made for new sundials and for sundial restoration projects, and for entries from juniors, schools and other youth groups.

Please send entries to Doug Bateman and to webmaster@sundialsoc.org.uk in the form of emails and attachments. Entries must be submitted by 31st December 2015.

Entries must be in digital form because they will appear on the BSS website. Items submitted are subject to moderation. Judging will be by the Society, taking into account comments posted on the website. Visits may be made to see selected entries. The results will be announced at the 2016 conference.

The awards will be in the form of certificates and, where appropriate, an engraved plaque.

Examples from previous schemes (held at five-year intervals) are below. The Society particularly welcomes entries from schools, so please encourage any school that you think could be persuaded to submit an entry or entries.

Best Wishes,

Doug