Time

Friends of Inverleith Park Invite Speaker on Sundials

Kinloch Anderson sundial in Inverleith Park, Edinburgh.

This stone sundial, erected in 1890 in the new Inverleith Park in Edinburgh, was presented by Councillor Kinloch Anderson. [Photo: Dennis Cowan]

The Friends of Inverleith Park take great pride in their large popular park in the City of Edinburgh. There is a sundial garden and a historic sundial monument. For their AGM on 27 November, the Friends invited Alastair Hunter to speak on the subject of ‘A Look at Sundials’. He showed pictures of old and new sundials, and explained how this ancient method of finding time by the sun continues to be reborn today Continue reading

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Study of an old stone sundial on an estate in Fife

An old stone sundial in Fife

An original stone sundial with two dial faces dated 1746 found on an estate in Fife.

The owner of an old stone sundial on an estate in Fife wanted to know where it belonged. The stone was lying on the ground behind farm buildings and no one could say where it had come from. Was it the correct latitude for the estate, could we study it for them and find out more?

The date 1746 carved on the stone certainly confirmed this sundial was old. Continue reading

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Edinburgh Probus Braids Club talk

Historic sundial at Holyrood Palace, Scotland

Historic sundial at Palace of Holyrood commissioned by King Charles I for his Scottish coronation in 1633.

It is always interesting to see how people will react to a sundials talk. I usually say they are in the majority if they know nothing at all about this fascinating yet unfamiliar subject. In the 21st century sundials have largely been forgotten, but I try to explain how sundials were once an essential part of the science of timekeeping. Their designs spanned an extraordinary range from purely functional to wildly exuberant sculpture monuments. Today those old traditions of imaginative design are still alive, providing new generations with pleasure and enjoyment from timeless and beautiful sundials.

You can see the slides for my talk here, PROBUS EDINBURGH TALK ON SUNDIALS – Copyright Macmillan Hunter 2017.

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Getting The Angles Right On A School Sundial

FEB26 MOCKUP COMPOSITE 270H

Early computer model for the sundial (left), and the completed design erected on the wall of the school building

For anyone who has ever enjoyed doing geometry at school, getting the angles right on a sundial may not sound so difficult. The sundial has to see the sun and the shadows have to tell the time. When sundial sculptor Tim Chalk was sketching out ideas for his latest work to erect a sundial at Dollar Academy, a leading Scottish school, he thought about the angles Continue reading

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New sundial for historic garden in Switzerland

Orbdial sundial on marble pedestal

Orbdial is a universal type of sundial that can be set for different latitudes.

In a land renowned for its clocks and watches a Swiss couple have chosen our Orbdial sundial to mark the hours in their historic garden set on a hill above Montreux, overlooking Lac Leman, which they are restoring to former glories. The sundial has a handsome polished pedestal in pink and yellow veined marble from Verona. The couple wanted to see the colours of sunrise and sunset in the sky picked up by the sundial and the stone. In Victorian times this house welcomed figures from music and the arts, including Gertrude Jekyll the influential garden designer. Continue reading

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When Time Stands Still at Winter Solstice

Dihelion sundial captures the equinox in autumn sunshine

The Dihelion sundial casts an exact shadow at equinox and solstice

Three weeks now till Christmas when time stands still for excited children opening their presents. Strangely, also on the twenty-fifth of December, clocks and sundials read the same time as each other, because the equation of time is zero. Winter solstice when the sun stands still is a few days earlier. This year it is on the twenty-second of December.

It seems a while since the sunshine was warm Continue reading

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The sun takes its time for new Dihelion sundial in the Savill Garden

Dihelion sundial sculpture at the Savill Garden, SurreyAfter a time the sun did shine when we were setting up our new Dihelion sundial sculpture at the Savill Garden, Surrey. The sun was out just long enough to align the sundial before we left. Dihelion is now fully installed and ready to view as part of the Savill Garden’s annual sculpture exhibition ‘Sculpture in the Garden’ Continue reading

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Dihelion a new sundial design at the Savill Garden sculpture exhibition

Sunflower inspiration for new sundial designIn a break with previous sundials an original new design has been created that has two shadows, one showing the time of day and another the season of the year. This adds more pleasure to having a sundial in a garden. The design has been named DIHELION meaning ‘dual sun’ after the ancient Greek words. The sundial will be launched to the public on 1 September at ‘Sculpture in the Garden’, the annual sculpture exhibition at The Savill Garden, Windsor, Berkshire.

It is thought the concept of DIHELION having two shadows Continue reading

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NADFAS Scotland Talk on Sundials

Capuchin sundial made in wood

The Capuchin sundial is a very early design, probably from the 1500s. The dial is held by hand and it can find the time from the sun’s altitude.

Telling time through the ages

Sundial expert and student of time Kevin Karney gave another of his fascinating talks on telling time through the ages to the audience of NADFAS members at their monthly meeting held in the Victoria Halls, Helensburgh, on Tuesday this week. NADFAS, the National Association of Decorative & Fine Arts Societies, is a leading arts charity and this was the second group in the Scotland and Northern Ireland area to have invited Kevin to speak recently Continue reading

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