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Donegal Sundial

A damaged slate horizontal multi-dial in a private collection. 530mm deep by 500mm wide, it was made by "RICARDUS MELVILLE" "Fecit AD 1843" and with the Latin mottoes "Tempus Fugit" and "Memento Aeternitatis" (Time flies - remember eternity).There is a central 16-point compass rose, with the cardinal points marked "E" "S" and "W" and in addition to the central dial it has four small subsidiary dials.
The central pierced gnomon is 175mm high by 9mm thick and is now separated from the dial. The central Chapter Ring shows 4a.m. to 8p.m. in roman numerals with IV for four. There is no noon gap to compensate for the gnomon thickness. The fractional time ring inside the Chapter Ring has 30 and 15 min divisions. The time ring outside the Chapter Ring has 5 min. divisions. There are 64 names of distant cities and countries on the dial plate from Nanking in the east to Queen Charlotte Sound in the west.
The four subsidiary dials, one at each corner of the plate indicate local time at :
(1) "NEW YORK" "N.America" The Chapter Ring shows 11 - 12 - 3 in Arabic numerals, with "Morning" inscribed between 5 and 9. The 90mm high gnomon is loose.
(2) "ALEXANDRIA" "Egypt Africa" The Chapter Ring shows 6 - 12 - 10 in Arabic numerals, with "Afternoon" inscribed between 1 and 5. The 90mm high gnomon is loose.
(3) "SYDNEY" "Australia" The Chapter Ring shows 3 - 12 - 7 in Arabic numerals, with "Night" inscribed between 10 and 1. The gnomon is missing.
(4) "BENGAL" "Asia" The Chapter Ring shows 7 - 12 - 12 - 1 in Arabic numerals, with "Evening" inscribed between 5 and 7. The gnomon is missing.
There is an Equation of Time table, in two parts one each side of the plate, reading from left to right, in the form of four concentric rows:
(1)"JAN" to "JUNE" on east side, "JULY" to "DEC" on west side of the plate.
(2) EoT values in minutes.
(3) months divided into ten day intervals "10, 20, 30 or 31" as appropriate
(4)"clock too slow (add)" "clock too fast (sub)"
EoT zero values are shown at Apr 15, June 25, Aug 31 and Dec 18.
There is a large abstract trefoil design centred on the north side of the plate and smaller four leaf designs fill otherwise blank spaces all over the plate.

100Kb Photo

The dial was restored by Harriet James in 2005. Click here to visit Harriet's website

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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