quality compared to medieval scratch dials. See
M. Bowen, ‘Saxon Sundial in the Parish Church of All Saints,
Orpington’, and R.I. Page ‘Note on the Inscription’, Archaeologia
Cantiana, LXXXII, 1967; also D. Scott, ‘Sundials in Anglo
Saxon England, Part 4, The Late Period – Aldbrough and
Orpington’, The British Sundial Society Bulletin, Vol.
12(i), Feb 2000.
19 T.W. Cole, Scratch-Dials on
Churches. Interim List, 1934.
20 Green, op. cit.
Rosenberg taught at the King’s School Canterbury and read
papers to the Canterbury Archaeological Society.
21 Welland states ‘a complete
set of drawings in book form is under consideration’ and
invited prepublication purchase. Did drawings exist for the
entire list or was (intended) completion contingent on
sufficient pre-publication interest?
22 Welland cites no credits.
Gerald Winzar informed him of his findings (Pat Winzar pers.
comm.) and Welland’s listing includes almost all dials
recorded by Winzar. It also includes all dials listed by Grove.
That said, Welland’s compilation contains some 25 churches
listed for the first time.
23 For those concerned that three
counties is too limited a sample, initial statistical analysis
by the author of the (unpublished) British Sundial Society
database for some dozen counties with complete to comprehensive
surveys of eligible churches, indicates the three counties are
not unrepresentative. See The British Sundial Society
24 Also supported by the
correspondence of Welland’s 310 churches visited with 331
churches with medieval components. Whilst additional discoveries
can never be ruled out, any such can be expected to be few and
not materially affect the picture shown in Tables 2, 3 and 4.
25 The other possibility –
unknown survivals – does not arise for the Kent, Somerset and
Rutland data under consideration (main text and note 24). If all
churches have not been surveyed, relating listed scratch dials
to the total eligible churches will result in an underestimate
of survival. This is avoided if listed scratch dials are related
to the number of churches surveyed (assuming the latter to be
statistically representative). This is not always possible
because of the natural tendency only to list positive findings.
Statistically ‘non-finds’ are just as important! Non
reporting of churches without dials is why the published partial
surveys of Hampshire (Green op. cit.) and Herefordshire (Botzum
op. cit.) are not included in Table 4. In contrast the
Somerset and Rutland surveys are both complete and list churches
without a scratch dial.
Non reporting of churches without scratch dials
also affects The British Sundial Society mass dial database.
Fortunately such information can be retrieved and the database
is in the process of being enhanced to permit statistical
analysis (note 23).
26 The appearance of scratch dials
and the nature of incisions are not the work of professional
stone masons. Most likely they were made by (or supervised by)
the local priest, sextant or verger.
27 Author’s analysis of Somerset
(Horne 1917, op. cit.), Rutland (Ovens and Sleath op.
cit.) Hampshire (Green op. cit.) and Herefordshire (Botzum
op. cit.). Kent information has not been systematically
recorded – but numerous moved dials are known. The cumulative
impact of repairs, re-use and replacement is vividly detailed in
J.F. Potter ‘Anglo-Saxon building techniques: Quoins of twelve
Kentish Churches reviewed’, Archaeologia Cantiana,
CXXVI, 2006. Two of these churches have scratch dials on the
quoin stones – one obviously, the other possibly, moved.
28 Horne (1917), op. cit.,
describes 19 per cent of Somerset dials as ‘doubtful’. Ovens
and Sleath, op. cit., describe 8 per cent of Rutland’s
as ‘very poor or faint’ and 42 per cent ‘poor’. Botzum, op.
cit., describes 25 per cent of Herefordshire dials as
variously ‘very weathered, eroded, remnant, flaking or
indistinct’. Of the Kent dials recorded by Winzar 21 per cent
are too indistinct to be categorised (Table 6).