Sundial blog post updates


Too high above the south porch of the church of St Meriadocus for some of its features, particularly the Equation of Time table, to be distinguished is this handsome vertical south dial. It is intact apart from the lower left corner and its outer scale divides the hours VI to VI into five minute intervals. It has two cheerful mottoes: “Remember Death” and “Hora Pars Vitae” (An hour is part of life). The break-arched dial plate measures 740mm x 580mm. The EoT scale has letters S and F indicating whether the dial is slow or fast while four circles with a dot in the centre might be meant to indicate the four days in the year when dial and clock agree, but only the April one is anywhere near correct. Could there be some other explanation? The maker has signed himself ‘Philomath’, but without leaving sufficient room for the inscriber, who has had to add the last two letters in superscript. The date below is 1793 and in her drawing of 1957, Mrs Crowley has included the letters MES and ER near the broken corner. They can be seen in this photograph of 1966, but are no longer visible on the dial.

The September edition of the Bulletin has recently been delivered to members. The list of contents follows and, as always, a sample article is available for non-members.

Courtesy of Ian Butson, the Author and Title indices for the Bulletin since 2002 have been updated and are available under the Publications menu.

September Contents

1. Editorial

1. Familiar Faces in Victoria, BC

2. The Sundial Herm at Ancient Messene, Greece – Andreas Galanakis and Martin Jenkins

Read More


The Sundial House Tearooms stand on the north corner of the crossroads (A396/B3224), and this excellent and unusual slate dial is between first floor windows. Declining east, it shows the hours from 5am to 4pm in 30, 15 and 5 minute intervals. Note the half hours marked with a fleur de lys, and the split substyleat about 9:22 am. The motto – Time is the devourer of (all) things – comes from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, 15, 234. The centre of the dial is almost filled by a table ofeight columns, giving 82 dates for values of the Equation of Time at 1 minute intervals. The maker’s name can be seen along the bottom – J Norman, from Winsford, about three miles away.

We are now taking bookings for the 2016 Conference. A booking form is enclosed with the September Bulletin and Newsletter and is available for download here. For the latest updates including how to make an e-booking please see The available payment methods are by cheque (drawn on a UK bank), bank transfer, or PayPal (via the website). However you choose to pay and/or book please return the booking form (by mail or email).

For convenience and to assist planning we have made the 2016 Conference booking form available early. It is recognised some might not wish to pay in full so far in advance. Bookings made before the issue of the December Newsletter can therefore be made by a £50 deposit. Early bookings assist liaison with the venue: your room preferences and additional night(s) requirements are subject to availability and will be met on a first come first served basis.

The BSS Photo Competition is now open for entrants. All the entries will be displayed at the 2016 Conference in Liverpool where the winners will be chosen by the delegates.

Previous entries and winners can be seen here. Good luck!

Please click Read More to see the full competition rules (or download them here) and note that each entry must be accompanied by a completed Entry Form, available here.

Read More