Mass or scratch dial on buttress of the tower of St Nicholas Church, Eydon.
As this is on the north west face of the south west buttress of the tower, it does not get much sun. It consists of a central hole that must have held the gnomon, which created the shadow, a prominent vertical line for noon, and 15 or 16 radiating lines from the centre for the various hours. The symmetrical nature of the dial suggests this was originally fixed on a south facing wall, where it would have been used to mark the time for the Mass or other services to start.
Mass dials were known right from Saxon times up to the end of the 15th century. The many lines suggest later rather than earlier in this time range. At some stage it was removed from the wall and used as a building stone, finishing in its current sunless position.
Photographer: Alison Parsons
Image lent by Alison Parsons
Connected Photos: AP023 | AP029 | AP030 | AP035 | DK050