The British Sundial Society

Promoting the Art and Science of Gnomonics since 1989

A number of people have requested to see the chat discussion from the recent virtual conference: it is now available as a PDF or text file.

The full responses to the SurveyMonkey survey are also available, apart from Q10 which contains contact details for the people who entered the draw for a free annual subscription to the BSS. Thanks to all those who left feedback and who entered the draw: the winner, drawn at random, was Martins Gills. We will be in touch with him to confirm the details.

We successfully held our first Virtual Conference via Zoom on the 17th April and were joined by about 150 participants from around the globe. Feedback about the event has been extremely positive and all the speakers – Roger Bailey, Woody Sullivan and Fred Sawyer, with the event introduced by Frank King – were very highly rated for their fascinating talks.

The full video of the session, lasting a little over 90 minutes, is available here:

Although the vast majority of participants were able to enjoy the session, unfortunately a small number of people did not receive the joining instructions. We hope that the video above makes up for that and we have taken those issues, as well as the large number of comments and suggestions, fully on board. We will provide information about how we plan to proceed in due course but there is clearly an appetite for more events like this!

Tim Chalk submitted details of four dials to the 2020 BSS Sundial Design And Restoration Awards
well before the end of the competition but due to an oversight they were not added to the list of entries or the web site at the time. Apologies to Tim for the omission and we encourage visitors to look at them. They have also been added to the full list of entries below.

The four dials are:


Read on for more details of each of these dials.

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Update Mar 7, 2021. We regret that, due to an oversight, four submissions from Tim Chalk were not published previously or included in the following summary. This has now been remedied and we apologise for the delay.


This, the sixth scheme, has had a record number of entries, boosted in part by time available due to the COVID-19 lockdown. Visitors to the website are encouraged to submit comments on any or all of the sundials, using the reply box at the bottom of each page, on aspects such as design, craftsmanship and overall function of the dial. These comments will help the Trustees to choose the entries for particular Awards.

In summary, we have a large ‘monumental’ dial in Malaysia; a restoration of very old polyhedral dial; a ‘first venture’ to commemorate a ruby wedding; the restoration of a stained glass window dial; a number of dials (conventional and unconventional) by experts in Cambridge; an obelisk for a garden in Cornwall; a novel altitude dial linked to human activities rather than just the hours, and a number of precision dials of different types cut in slate.

1. David Brown – The Re-birth of a Large Polyhedral Sundial
2. The Cardozo Kindersley Workshop, Cambridge – An Islamic-Inspired Horizontal Sundial in Jeddah
3. The Cardozo Kindersley Workshop, Cambridge – A Portable Stereographic Sundial on the End-Flap of a Book
4. The Cardozo Kindersley Workshop, Cambridge – A Horizontal Garden Sundial in Rutland
5. Tim Chalk – Dollar Academy Sundial
6. Tim Chalk – Gleneagles House Sundial
7. Tim Chalk – “A Year In The Life Of The Manx Shearwater” Sculptural Sundial
8. Tim Chalk – Crieff Hydro Sundial
9. The Didsbury Parsonage Trust – The Replacement Stained Glass Sundial in Didsbury, Manchester
10. David Hawker – A Ruby Wedding Vertical Sundial in Sutton, Surrey
11. Inscriptorum of Sundborn, Sweden – A Vertical Wall Sundial in South Cambridgeshire
12. Martin Jenkins – The Battle of Britain 80th Anniversary Sundial
13. Martin Jenkins – Janet’s Dial
14. Martin Jenkins –The Rotating Polar Mean Time Dial
15. Martin Jenkins – The Socrates Plato Dial
16. Dial withdrawn.
17. Syed Kamarulzaman – Ta Ha Sundial, Sepang, Malaysia
18. Frank King – A Portable Stereographic Face Mask Sundial
19. Tool/Toy Project – The Circadian Yardstick
20. The Voss Obelisk – A Pair of Declining Reclining Slate Dials in Cornwall

Martin Jenkins has clearly made excellent use of his time in 2020 and has, just ahead of the deadline, submitted details of four dials to the 2020 BSS Sundial Design And Restoration Awards

Battle of Britain – 80th Anniversary

Because of my interest in flying and 2020 being the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, I decided to design and make a west facing dial to commemorate the event. The dial is slate, 600mm by 480mm x 20 mm thickness. The knowing of time is a very important aspect in flight whether for navigation, fuel management, or coordination between air traffic.

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An unusual submission to the 2020 BSS Sundial Design And Restoration Awards from the team at Tool/Toy Project.

This is the Circadian Yardstick, part of a collection of instruments made by Tool/Toy Project in 2019 for the Oslo Architecture Triennale. The collection consists of a set of objects designed to slow down the daily domestic routine by encouraging regular playful interactions with the Sun in the home. The devices engage the senses, encouraging various ways to listen, touch, watch, meditate, navigate and dance with the sunshine and its effects. 

The Circadian Yardstick works by measuring the length of the shadow of a pin (gnomon), which in turn indicates what our bodies are doing according to our circadian rhythms at various times of the day – from peak alertness to an enhanced sense of smell. By intellectually connecting our internal cycles to those of the Sun, the yardstick encourages the user to live in harmony with both.
Read on for full description and more pictures.

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