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Oxford Island
Human Sundial
Human sundial at Oxford Island

The 113 hectare Oxford Island National Nature Reserve is in fact not an island but a peninsula, located on the south shore of Lough Neagh. Visitors can explore a range of habitats from such as reed beds, open water, wildlife ponds and wildflower meadows. The site, a haven for wildlife, has a number of facilities including a network of trails, birdwatching hides, the Kinnego Marina, Waterside House and the Lough Neagh Discovery Centre.

The sundial at Oxford Island was developed and installed by the Interpretive team based at the Centre. It is an 'Analemmatic' or 'Human' Sundial where the shadow of the person indicates the time. There are 16 upright 'hour' stones in all created by local stone carver Jonny Kerr. Each is inscribed on the sloping top with an Arabic numeral to indicate the time. One side of the stones shows water-based animals backed by the Lough. The other side shows land-based animals, backed by the woods.
Visitors using the sundial stand on the correct date, with their feet either side of the central date line. They then raise their arms over their head with their hands together and their shadow points to the time.
Terry Moseley of the Irish Astronomical Society did the shadow angle calculations and the Craigavon Council Conservation Team did the site work.

To get there by car - On the south side of Lough Neagh, turn-off at Junction 10 on the M1 and follow the signs to Oxford Island. Entrance is free and free parking is also available.

Lat 54° 29' North   Long 6° 23' West
Irish Grid     J  305270    361390

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
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