Clearview, 59 High Street - site of possibly the oldest east-facing mass dial in Britain - 1641 if contemporary with the adjoining south facing sundial

A sundial is a means of telling the time by marking the movement of the shadows made by the sun. Over the centuries, many various and ingenious methods of producing the shadow and marking the time have been developed but here in Eydon most of the dials described are vertical wall dials in which a pointer (the gnomon) casts a shadow onto markings carved onto the wall.

In the earlier dials the gnomon was at right angles to the wall, which meant that they were only 'correct' in our terms at noon. For the rest of the time they divided the day into a number of periods, the length of which varied (in our terms) according to the seasons.

At Clearview, 59 High Street, round the corner from the south facing dial, carved in situ on the gable end, are a series of parallel lines, with Roman numerals from 4 to 10. This is an east-facing dial, which tells the time from dawn until mid morning. On the six o'clock line (wrongly carved as 7) there are two holes for a flat 'goalpost-type' gnomon, all of which has led sundial experts to suggest that this might be England's earliest east-facing domestic dial.

Photographer: Dr Kevin Lodge

Image lent by : Dr Kevin Lodge

Connected Photos: AP055 | AP056 | AP058 | AP059 | AP060 | AP061 | AP062Image

England's Earliest East-facing Domestic Sundial, Clearview

SKU: AP057

Eydon Village Photo Archive

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Eydon Historical Research Group

c/o 30a High Street, Eydon,

Daventry, Northants. NN11 3PP