Drummond Castle Sundial Restoration

Drummond Castle Sundial Obelisk

The sundial dates from 1630. It has 61 individual dials and 131 separate ways of telling the time. An inscription in Latin carved into the stone explains the separate colours chosen for time. The lines remain but the colours have gone.

The sundial at Drummond Castle in Perthshire is the earliest of the distinctive style of sundials in Scotland. It dates from 1630. Three years ago it was removed from the garden for major repairs and conservation work. This restoration is now complete and the sundial stands tall in its glory again.

A sundial reinstatement ceremony was held on Sunday 23rd June 2019 at 11.00 am. Members of the Drummond family, their guests, and the many people involved with the restoration were invited to attend the ceremony by courtesy of The Grimsthorpe and Drummond Castle Trust Limited. The gardens at Drummond Castle are open to the public.

The restoration work was carried out by Graciela Ainsworth Sculpture Conservation Ltd at their workshops in Edinburgh, in consultation with Macmillan Hunter Sundials. The significant and extended work of stone repair and conservation was in the hands of Graciela’s team of expert conservators.

Alastair Hunter was able to continue the original study begun in the 1980’s by Dr Andrew Somerville, founder Chairman of The British Sundial Society, and take his work to completion. Alastair carried out gnomonic analysis in order to identify the multiple delineations on all of the 61 separate dials, to define the specifications for new manufacture of every gnomon in bronze, and to instruct on correct replacement for the entire gnomon set.

Reinstatement on a true north alignment was completed on 21st June the day of Summer Solstice. At noon the shadows of the gnomons on multiple dials in sunshine revealed accurate alignment.

Read more about the reinstatement—Drummond Castle Obelisk Sundial – Reinstatement article