Saturday, 9 May 2009

Sundials of South West London

I've been hanging on to a couple of pictures of sundials in the sure and certain belief that I'd soon have enough to put together a decent post. Well it hasn't happened, not because there aren't any sundials out there, just that I haven't spotted them yet.

Along with weather vanes, sundials pretty much rank up there at the top of the 'what's the point?' rating. It seems to be taken for granted that they're never right and to be honest no-body really knows how to use them so with all that against them you'd think they would have died a natural death in the last century. However it seems the value of the sundial really lies in it's aesthetics and its ability to add a bit of interest to a blank wall so of the three examples I found two are modern examples-

Wimbledon Broadway SW19
Its modern, sophisticated and looks as though it should work. In fact there's definitely a shadow being cast. However there are also thirteen markers which is a little confusing and no clue as to which hour is being pointed indicated. I have a feeling that the sundial came with the Argos but can't back that up with anything but a hunch.
Putney High Street/ Upper Richmond Road
'Time like an ever rolling stream, bears all its sons away...' is apparently a quote by Isaac Watts
from one of his Psalms.Probably a good move to concentrate on the time aspect rather than inevitable death. The MM (2000) would suggest it was commissioned especially for the millennium celebrations and no doubt the swan in the middle also has a significance, probably relating to the company that produced itOld London Road, Kingston
Now that's more like it. A proper old-fashioned sundial with a plaque, inscription and a bit of carving to go with it. This one is placed above a row of alms houses on the road in to Kingston but now I think about it I'm sure I've seen a similar one on a private house out near Molesey. Might be well worth a little trip out there soon to see if I'm right but in the meantime I'll just have to enjoy this one on its own.


Dub said...

Thank you!
So few people acknowledge them - though they can take some thought to put up, and as you rightly point out, they make the place a bit more interesting.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyable blog -- keep it up!