Babylonian and Italian hours measure the day

Babylonian and Italian hours on a sundial

This vertical dial has hour lines radiating from the top, as well as the criss-cross pattern of Babylonian and Italian hour lines, plus the lines for solstice and equinox. Looking at the shadow of the gnomon, the time of day is 9:30 am and the time of year is the equinox. The Babylonian time is 3½ hours from sunrise, and the Italian time is 8½ hours before sunset. Adding these together the length of day for the equinox is 12 hours.—Note, the figure has no numbers. Once you learn how to read the lines, it is not hard to learn how to count them!

Babylonian and Italian hours are wonderful. They measure out the day from the time of sunrise to the time of sunset. Add them together and they will give you the number of hours of daylight. A simple ancient type of sundial like this one can measure times for you that you will hardly ever find on a modern watch. Continue reading

Oak leaf sundial art

Oak leaf sundial

This beautiful sculpture projects the shadow of oak leaves etched in glass onto the carved sundial panel behind. The shadow of a single oak bud falls in exactly the right place to tell the time.

There is so much pleasure in owning a work of art done by a friend. For a sundial person the pleasure is even greater when this is a sculpture that can show the time. Today we set the sculpture up at home and we were amazed how beautifully it comes to life in sunshine. All the fundamentals of a sundial underlie this marvellous creation. Continue reading

A sundials tour of parks and gardens in Edinburgh

Ancient sundial of Scotland at Fettes College

This historic sundial probably dates from the 1630s. It was placed in its present position in 1893.

This year’s sundials tour visited parks and gardens in Edinburgh. It is the latest in a series of large and small events to help raise funds for the YACHT project at Greenbank Church, which supports ‘Youth at CHurch Today’. In recent years the tour has been to George Heriot’s School and the National Museum of Scotland (2017), and Lennoxlove near Haddington (2015).

This year we were a group of nine who heard about a fascinating background of art, science, history, and people. Continue reading

Kinloch Anderson Sundial Restored at Inverleith Park

Inverleith Park sundial restored in 2018

The Inverleith Park sundial originally gifted by Edinburgh firm Kinloch Anderson in 1890 was newly restored by the same company in June 2018.

It was a great day seeing the Kinloch Anderson sundial fully restored at Inverleith Park on Saturday 16th June 2018. It marks 150 years since 1868 when the company was founded. The company held a celebration party for their many guests. The Lord Provost of Edinburgh Continue reading

New commission for a sundial on a garden wall

Wall sundial for a garden

A special sundial commission for a garden wall. The dial markings are correct for the wall’s direction. Made in brass with a soft finish and lines cut by laser. Photo taken before mounting on the wall.

A new commission came in to us recently for a sundial on a garden wall. Sundial people will know that the direction of the wall is important. Does the wall face south, or north, or in between? A sundial must be correct for the direction of the wall Continue reading

A sundial restoration in the north of Scotland – the Craigdarroch stone

Stone sundial restoration

This very interesting sundial stone dates from 1777 and has beautiful carved lettering. The new gnomon is elevated at the correct angle of 60°, equal to the angle of latitude. It replaces the broken fragment of an earlier gnomon.

This very interesting sundial stone was found hidden under bushes in an overgrown garden in a small village near Inverness in the north of Scotland. It is known as the Craigdarroch stone after the place where it was found. The stone is carved with sundial lines and hours Continue reading

Display sundial has been a shining success

Hourdial horizontal sundial design by Macmillan Hunter Sundials

The sundial is a modern design in polished stainless steel and brass. The gnomon has an exact angle of inclination and an interlocking sculpture form. The dial plate has precise hour lines and numbers created by a highly skilled process of photoetching.

Since 2012 when it was first put on display at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London our Hourdial sundial has been a shining success. It has been the most popular of our different sundial designs. Since the time of that first exhibit our sundials business has grown in all kinds of ways. Continue reading

A sundial commission with a circular Enoch calendar

Sundial commission with a circular Enoch calendarOne or two years ago we had a general enquiry about making a sundial with a calendar marked on it. Some sundials are marked with a calendar in a graphical form like an elongated figure-of-eight. This is called the analemma, and it might have been the answer to the enquiry. In fact our own Solar Time sundial is a design that displays the analemma.


Read the complete story in the attached article, A SUNDIAL COMMISSION WITH A CIRCULAR ENOCH CALENDAR.


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Dihelion sundial sculpture measures winter sunshine

Dihelion sundial sculpture in winter sunshine

This dual sundial captures the time of day and the season of the year with two separate gnomons, which cast two separate shadows. In this photo the season gnomon casts its shadow in winter sunshine. The shadow falls at a low angle and crosses a sundial marker for Winter Solstice.

It is always intriguing to see how many different measurements can be made with a sundial, and in how many different ways. The Dihelion sundial measures in two ways, and you wait for a whole year before the measurements repeat themselves, but it is always fascinating. The photo catches a moment of winter sunshine when Dihelion throws a shadow at a shallow angle across a winter solstice marker. Continue reading

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