Sundials in Ireland - Ancient Monastic Dials

Nendrum Co. Down

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Nendrum Monastery, on Mahee Island, Co Down, founded by St Machaoi in the 5th Century, was destroyed by fire in the 10th Century.
In the 12th century a Benedictine monastic cell was founded, only to be abandoned in the 15th century for a mainland site.
The monastery site was overgrown and "lost" for hundreds of years, before being re-discovered in 1844 and excavated between 1922 and 1924. The remains at the monastery include a tidal mill, three concentric stone walled enclosures, a ruined church, a round tower stump, foundations of huts and workshops, cross-slabs, a graveyard and a sundial (inside the red circle on photo opposite).The ruins have been restored so that the groupings of small buildings can be seen. There is a small museum and visitor centre on site which houses interactive and graphic displays, models, artefacts and a video. Other artefacts, including a famous bronze coated iron bell, are in the care of the Ulster Museum.
52Kb Photo

The early Christian period sundial (photo opposite) has been "reconstructed" in 1924 on the site from pieces found during excavation.
It is 400mm wide by 150mm thick. and is mounted on one corner of the ruined church.

Replica of the Nendrum dial on display in Carnfunnock Sundial Park, Co. Antrim

Mahee Island is in Strangford Lough, accessed from the A22 Comber to Killyleagh road. The turn-off is signed to "Nendrum Monastery" 1km south of Comber. It is accessed by narrow twisty roads and a causeway.

British Sundial Society SR No 3614

Lat 54° 30' North  Long 5° 38' West

IRISH GRID  J 353300   363870