A sundial face

In the past, we have written about the sundial on St Mary’s Church in Market Lavington. (See Restoration of the Market Lavington Church Sundial – April 2004 and J L Maddox and sundials.) Now we will consider a much smaller sundial.

This rather battered, octagonal sundial face was dug up on the site of the Grove Farm housing estate in Market Lavington and given to the museum in 1986. We know nothing more about it. Who owned it? Where was it used? How old is it? All we can say is that it is a small object, measuring 8.75 cm across.

Looking at a modern sundial, we can see that sundials should have a ‘pointer’ called a gnomon fixed at rightangles to the dial face.

As the earth moves on its daily orbit, the sunlight shines on the gnomon from different angles and the shadow cast lines up with numbers on the dial face, indicating the hour.

10 o’clock

The little sundial from Grove Farm has lost its gnomon which, presumably, would have been fixed in place over the three holes.

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