The inscription above the dial is "WEE SHALL", and when followed by a pun on sundial (soon die all) gives a rather sombre message, which is reinforced by the carvings on top of the dial panel, showing a skull between two hour glasses.
The church at Kedleston dates from the 12th century and lies behind a wing of Kedleston Hall. In about 1700 the east gable of the church was altered to be more in keeping with the house which then existed and this impressive sundial was originally erected. It faces the bedrooms of the present Hall.
This was the church of Kedleston village, but the village was eventually moved away from the hall. Three halls have stood on this site, the present one begun in1759.
The church is now in the ownership of the Churches Conservation Trust, and can only be visited when the Hall grounds are open to the public.