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Sundial blog post updates

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.

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Frank King recently had a five minute slot on Robert Elms’ BBC London radio show talking about sundials. In this short interview the discussion included analemmatic dials, the ancient Egyptians and contemporary dials in London.

For as long as the BBC maintains the link, the interview can be heard here, starting 1hr 34m 10s into the programme.

This is said to be the earliest green slate dial in Devon. It is a break-arch dial with the date 1710 running round the top of the arch. It has been suggested that it might have been made by John Berry but the early date and lack of signature makes this very unlikely. There is a sun-face surrounding the root of the gnomon and in a shield below that are the names of the churchwardens Joseph Palmer and William Karslake who style themselves ‘Gents’. It has the hours VI – VI subdivided into halves, quarters and periods of 7 1/2 minutes. The half hour markers each have a fleur-de-lys decoration and noon is indicated by a decorative cipher. The upper corners appear blank: if there ever were any cherubs there, they have flown.

Thanks to John Lester for this description.

The regular one-day BSS meeting will be held as usual wat Sutton Hall, Stockcross, Newbury RG20 8LN on Saturday 26th. September from 10:00 until 4:00. There will be exhibits of dials and related material, talks and a bookstall.

Full details are available here. Thanks as ever to David Pawley for organising the event.

No need to book, just turn up on the day. Guests are welcome, as are long-standing members and first-time visitors. Do come along to this highly popular event, and have a most enjoyable and relaxing day out.

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.