The History SectionLa Section d'l'Histouaithe
A brief description of
As already mentioned, the axis of the Earth is tilted. In summer the Sun is higher in the sky, at any particular time, and daylight lasts longer. Taking advantage of this, the sundial has a line that will be followed by the shadow of the golden ball on the gnomon between 8:15 am and 2:30 pm local Sun time (09:00 to 15:15 British Summer Time). The line has been drawn to match the height of the Sun on 29 June St Peter's Day. As the height of the Sun changes gradually the shadow will forecast the festival and will remain as a reminder for a few days afterwards.
There appears to be no other public sundial in Jersey that includes such a declination line.
The sundial was designed and carved by Harriet James. Harriet is one of a small number of skilled craftsmen in the United Kingdom who specialise in the construction of sundials. From her workshop in Wiltshire, Harriet has provided vertical and horizontal sundials carved in various types of stone for locations across the UK. This is the most southerly dial she has made.
Unless otherwise stated the sundials are vertical south facing dials and are to be found on the south sides of their churches.
|St Brelade||A limestone dial dated 1837 with an Equation of Time indicator for each sign of the zodiac. Motto, from Psalm 144 v 4, 'L'HOMME EST SEMBLABLE À LA VANITÉ, SES JOURS SONT COMME UNE OMBRE QUE PASSE'|
|St Clement||A vertical declining dial in slate. Removed from the church some years ago and now on the wall in the Rectory garden. Two mottoes: 'La dernière est inconnue', 'Nos jours passent comme une ombre'|
|St Lawrence||A semi-circular limestone dial, possibly 17th century. Found inside the church in the 1890s, given to Société Jersiaise in 1933 and reinstalled in the church wall in June 1978. A rededication service was held on 7 January 1979.|
|St Martin||A white marble dial made around 1987 to replace a slate dial that had disintegrated. The original dial was the gift of George Bandinel, Churchwarden, in 1736. The inscription carved in the granite frame around the dial: 'Don De G B Surveillant 1736'.|
|St Mary||A pale grey/white marble dial dated 1763 with the motto; 'UT UMBRA SIC VITA'. In 1762 Thomas Nicolle was given permission to alter a pew, following a dispute, and part of the settlement was that he should arrange for a sundial to be made on a piece of marble.|
|St Saviour||A vertical declining dial in granite, installed in the early part of the 20th century. The motto: 'MY TIME IS IN THY HAND'|
St Peter's Church is at latitude 49o 12.7' north, longitude 2o 11' west. Grid reference 596516
The dial is carved on a slab of Welsh slate from Snowdonia. It is 730 mm square and 45 mm thick.
The gnomon is made from stainless steel rod with a circular cross section, 10 mm diameter. It is secured with threaded nuts on the back of the slab.
The design takes into account the declination of the wall 8.88o east of south and the latitude of 49o 12.7' north
The gnomon makes an angle of 40.2o with the face of the dial and the substyle angle with the vertical is 7.6o.
A 30 mm sphere on the gnomon is of phosphor-bronze and was electro-plated with nickel and then gold. This is a 'nodus', which casts a shadow that follows the curved declination line on 29 June: St Peter's Day. Crossed keys, the traditional symbol of St Peter and the badge of the Parish, identify this line.
The hours are numbered with roman numerals from VI to V, with four shown as IIII. The numbers are upright. A cross represents noon. The numerals are 67 mm high.
The hour lines, with a V profile, are 10 mm wide and extend from the border to a semicircular space centred on the origin of the gnomon. The noon line extends right up to the origin of the gnomon. The half hours are marked with shorter lines, 5 mm wide and the quarter hour marks are confined to the width of the border.
At the top of the dial is the date, 2004, the year of construction and installation.
All the straight lines on the sundial are picked out in platinum leaf. The roman numerals and the date are in gold leaf and the declination line and crossed keys are in 'red' gold leaf.
The sundial was fitted and secured in the granite-framed niche by Mr Harry Tumblety the builder. Mr Tumblety is a specialist in ecclesiastical and historical conservation work.