This beautiful sundial is set into the wall of the old Picket House in Royal Square, St Helier, Jersey. Historical records show it was made by a talented Jerseyman called Elias Le Gros in the 1820s. In spite of being plastered over at one time by the military authorities and then restored again in 1875 after a public outcry over the dial’s obliteration, it is now in excellent condition, as our photo shows. Our host for lunch that day told us: “The dial is much admired but of course it isn’t accurate.” Poor old Elias Le Gros, now was the time to rescue his reputation! Continue reading
The sundial at Lews Castle, which overlooks Stornoway harbour on the Isle of Lewis, Scotland, is a restoration of a piece of nineteenth century garden furniture. The cast iron pedestal was once the base of a water fountain that stood in the castle grounds. In 2019 work started on a major Castle Grounds Regeneration Project, which included the pedestal. This ornate piece would be restored as a sundial. The Stornoway Trust had a special wish to see a timeline history of the Lews estate written on the dial. Continue reading
The Church of St Bartholomew in the lovely Staffordshire village of Butterton in the Peak District stands on high ground. Its tall spire is visible for miles around. Just near the church’s south porch there is a sundial. The sundial pedestal may once have been part of a medieval stone cross, and the dial made of brass Continue reading
This small brass garden sundial had lost its gnomon. It is dearly loved by its owner who has known it since childhood, and she wanted to have it restored. As often happens at different times the family moved home and the sundial moved too. Continue reading
This armillary sundial was once in poor condition. It had been outside in the garden for a long time, and the owners asked us to restore it for them. The Atlas figure that supports the rings, and the arrowhead and tail, were badly tarnished. Continue reading
For centuries, the lighthouses round the rocky coasts of Britain have been a lifeline to ships at sea. The lighthouse keeper used a sundial to find the time. It was part of lighthouse equipment before telegraph, radio and automation eventually took over. We have been asked to make a replica of one of these sundials.
The replica is for a travelling display of Scottish lighthouse memorabilia, which the owner will use when he gives one of his regular talks on lighthouses to interested groups of people. He has built up a significant collection of items but a sundial is an essential missing piece he has been unable to obtain so far. Continue reading
The new sundial for Lews Castle at Stornoway is now in place in the sunken garden. The old cast iron pedestal has been restored and painted beautifully and the sundial fits perfectly on top. The local team at I M Murray Engineering carried out the work on site.
The handsome pedestal was once the base for a fountain. Continue reading
Lews Castle at Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis in the Western Isles is in the far north of Scotland. It once belonged to the wealthy overseas trader Sir James Matheson, who built the castle as a mansion home on the site of the ancient Seaforth Lodge in the 1840s. He planted woodlands to surround his property and laid out pleasure gardens with species imported from all over the world. An extensive programme of work to regenerate the castle grounds began in 2019. When an original cast iron pedestal was discovered at the castle it was decided it should be restored. It now has a new sundial, which is just finished, and Continue reading
The sundial obelisk at Drummond Castle in Perthshire has a long and distinguished history. It has its place in the architecture of the ancient castles and houses in Scotland. It is connected with the very earliest days of the British Sundial Society (BSS). And it is one of the most important free-standing sundials in the British Isles from the early 1600s still surviving.
In 2017 after almost four hundred years outdoors the sundial was showing serious signs of the stone deteriorating. The whole structure was feared to be unsound. Making it safe had become urgent. Continue reading
Restoration of ancient stone sundials in Scotland can be very successful. As a latest example, a multi-faceted sundial at Nunraw, East Lothian, was found in poor condition in the garden of a private estate where it stands. It has now been restored to full working order and looks spectacular. The restoration was completed in June 2019.
This sundial belongs to the great era of Scottish sundials in the 17th and 18th centuries. It consists of three multi-faceted stones with a total of 34 separate dials. Continue reading