The Sundial

by David Nurse April. 26, 2021 225 views
The Sundial

The Sundial

This is the sundial on the wall of the quaint St. Peters Church in Carmarthen (Welsh: Caerfyrddin) in Carmarthenshire, Wales.

I saw it up on the wall and thought that would make a nice shot but now looking at it something dawned on me. It's not horizontal, It's vertical on a wall!

Had I seen this before? I must have surely but it's something I had never given a thought to before. How the heck does that work then? So off to Wikipedia to learn more.

Well, there's plenty of interesting information on sundials. Isn't it strange that there is so much more to a subject than you ever could imagine.

Even for horizontal sundials, I just thought to get a disc, divide into equal parts and voilà a sundial! but oh no, "To be accurate, such a sundial must have been designed for the local geographical latitude and its style (The bit that sticks up and casts the shadow) must be parallel to the Earth's rotational axis; the style must be aligned with true North and its height (its angle with the horizontal) must equal the local latitude." Thanks Wiki.

Vertical sundials are even more complicated. Well, that's an hour I won't be getting back, very interesting though and I will never look at a Sundial the same again.

I did not note down the axis of this wall but now I know from looking at the face of the dial that it is a South Facing wall. (If only you could see the smug look on my face now).

St Peters Church, Carmarthen

St Peters Church, Carmarthen

Join the conversation
There are 5 comments , add yours!
John Durham 5 months ago

Incredibly interesting. Thanks, David, now I don't have to spend that hour on Wiki!

5 months ago Edited
Stephanie 5 months ago

So interesting Davd! I have a sundial in the garden and knew that the style had to point to due north. But I didn't realise the relevance of the height  to style and Latitude of the location. I'll have to check mine more closly now....

5 months ago Edited
Adrian Morris 5 months ago

Interesting pic and information. 
For my 60th birthday (many years ago) I  received a sundial face. After doing similar research to yourself I decided I would have a pagan festival dedicated to the Celtic god Cernunnos and set the sundial in position at midday on the summer solstice at 12 noon. (Several things wrong with this apart from the obvious.) No one wanted to come mid week to something as obscure as this, so there was just my wife and I and, as she attends the local Methodist church, she was not pleased with my plans. On the following weekend, however, several friends and relations came round and we had a great evening of cameraderie and wine.

5 months ago Edited
David Nurse Replied to Adrian Morris 5 months ago

Great idea, Should make it an annual event, just to check the dial of course smile

5 months ago Edited
Adrian Morris Replied to David Nurse 5 months ago

We did have a midsummer party for several years after but no pagan

5 months ago Edited