The British Sundial Society

Promoting the Art and Science of Gnomonics since 1989

We are taking a break from publishing Dials of the Month and instead plan a new, occasional feature describing members’ dials. Thanks to Julian Lush for providing the first example, which he made astonishingly quickly!

Further informal descriptions and pictures of dials by members are very welcome – please send to

Thursday: Plumb-line in water and board to mark solar noon and wall declination…53deg East of south

Friday: Select and prepare a composite oak board 55 x 45 cms, 4 cms thick

Weekend: Design on Shadows Pro to correct size and declination.
Choose a gnomon height (140 mm) for the design to fill the board.

Monday: Transfer design print-out to board using carbon paper.
Select an oak piece 6mm thick and cut gnomon with base to give accurate height.
Route out all lines, including gnomon base slot.

Tuesday/Wenesday: Use soldering iron to scorch out all lines (except half hours)

Thursday: Ladder and pulley to position sundial above front door with long retaining screws.

Friday: Brilliant sunshine…. ECCE SUNDIAL

If you would like to share details of a dial you’ve made with an international audience of enthusiasts, please send pictures and a brief description go

With the 2016 Conference of the Society well under way at Liverpool, members of the Society constructed an analemmatic dial using one of Sir Anthony Gormley’s life-size sculptures on Crosby beech. Accurately laid out to tell the time year round, sadly the sun didn’t shine and the tide ensure it has a limited life!


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This horizontal sundial in the southern hemisphere is by James A. Stegenga.  It is located on the plaza in front of the jury room beside the City Courthouse in Marataízes which is about two degrees north of the Tropic of Capricorn and about 300 miles north-east of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  The dial plate is in the shape of Brazil and the design incorporates 13 green nail heads marking the locations of 13 cities in Brazil.  It was constructed over the period April to November 2015.

Frank King writes “You will, off course, instantly appreciate why I am sending Leap-Year-Day Greetings today, 24 February.”

Readers who need their memories refreshed are referred to the following extract from Frank’s article entitled “Mind the Gap…” in the December 2011 Bulletin.

When is Leap-Year Day?

Sometime after the Paternoster Square noon mark was completed, I received an unexpected e-mail suggesting that 29 February was the wrong date to choose for the thin strip and that the correct date of the intercalary day is 24 February. To quote from the message:

As far as I know nobody, at least in this country, has formally moved it from day 55 in the year (starting January 1st). In any case, who would have authority to do so?

This message could not be lightly dismissed. It was from John Chambers, former Head of the UK Time Service at the National Physical Laboratory, whose responsibilities included overseeing the broadcast of the Greenwich Time Signal. Some explanation is necessary!

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