Sundial restoration for Saughton public park in Edinburgh

South dial restored with new bronze gnomon and stone conservation

Photo: City of Edinburgh Council

Sundial restoration is always interesting. Each case is different. Sometimes the sundial is historic and may need research. An eye for sculpture shapes and architecture is useful. There can be tricky calculations of geometry. The right use of materials and surface patination comes into it. And of course every restoration has to make the sundial work and read the time in sunshine.

The photo shows one of the dials on the monumental sundial in the walled garden at Saughton Park in Edinburgh. There are four dials, facing the four points of the compass, and each one needed its own new specially designed gnomon. Our work was part of the major restoration project for Saughton park by Edinburgh City Council, which is nearly complete.

We have had other interesting cases. A beautiful sundial stone, dated 1777 and found at Craigdarroch near Inverness, needed a new gnomon. The sundial restoration at Inverleith Park needed a survey of sun alignment, and specifications for new gnomons. A highly complex sundial, which is one of the oldest in Scotland, has needed extensive mathematical analysis, and another has multiple facets all reading the time of individual cities round the world.