Sundials in Ireland

Medieval Sundials

Go to my Homepage

Go to Prehistoric Alignments & Dials

Go to Ancient Monastic Dials

Go to Modern (1600+) Dials

Go to Sundial Info.and Books

Although later than the Ancient Monastic dials, late medieval dials are generally less well executed. Geometrically drawn, they are usually circular or semicircular in shape, with 24 graduations and a hole in the centre to accommodate a gnomon (the shadow casting pin).
They date to after the Norman conquest and before the 15th century. Circular dials had the advantage that they could be used in either in an upright or horizontal position. Examples have been found in abbeys and large monasteries carved into the building fabric and also being re-used as grave markers in old burial grounds.

Scratch dials (also known as mass dials) are a rather basic form of sundial which were crudely scored into south facing stonework of village churches near the entrance door. Delineated, probably empirically, to show some form of unequal hours, they are event markers rather than true time keepers. While common in England where thousands of examples are known, they are extremely rare in Ireland probably because of a lack of surviving stone built medieval churches.

Click on Link below
for Dial details and photos

Map below shows locations of the known Medieval Sundials

Iona, Scotland

Nendrum Co.Down

Old Mellifont Abbey Co.Louth
Kilbeg Co.Meath
Kells Co.Meath
Donaghpatrick Co.Meath
Bremore Co.Dublin

Iniscealtra Co.Clare

Askeaton Co.Limerick

Cloghane Co.Kerry

Muckross Co.Kerry

If you know the location of a sundial in Ireland (NOT a mass produced DIY Store garden ornament) please email it to me (Click here to email M.J.Harley) - a member of British Sundial Society