banner
DECLINING WALL SUNDIAL ON EYAM CHURCH
Full index

Eyam dial The impressive west declining sundial stands on two corbels projecting from the wall above the doorway to the south aisle of Eyam Church.

The dial dates from 1775, and tradition has it that is was designed by a Mr Duffin and local stone mason William Shore carried out the work.
However it is possible that the dial was designed and made by the eminent clock and instrument maker John Whitehurst of Derby.

The hour is read from the shadow cast by the gnomon, the dial is engraved to local time, and reads approximately one hour slow during British Summer time. Detail over lines of declination Lines of declination cross the face of the dial from left to right. This detail, seen on the right from near the top of the dial face, shows the winter month labelling of the lines of declination.
A protrusion under the gnomon as seen in its shadow follows these lines, indicating the month and sign of the zodiac.

Names of various places in the world are arranged around the gnomon near to the top of the dial. As the shadow passes over a name, it indicates noon at that particular location.

The Latin engraving at the top of the dial translates as "Cultivate an enquiring mind", and on the corbels, "Like a shadow, so passes life".

Names of two contemporary church wardens - William Lee and Thomas Froggat - can be seen near the top.

Eyam dial

This picture was taken at 10am BST in mid July. The sun is still too far east to fall on the dial, but it can be seen catching the end of the corbels.
The detail picture higher up this page is taken from the Tropic of Capricorn line.
Church

The sundial can be seen between two trees that are growing close to Eyam parish church.

blueline

The village of Eyam is known for the well recorded effects of the great plague of 1665-6.

 

LOCATION

Lat 53° 17' 03" N
Lon 1° 40' 38" W
OS SK 218 764