Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

Sunderland  

Sundial 259
State/Province:  Maryland Country:  USA
Dial Type:  Horizontal Condition:  very good
Latitude:   38° 39' 47" N Longitude:   76° 36' 30" W
Location:
  • All Saints Episcopal Church (Rt. 4 & Rt. 2) Calvert Co.
 
Description:
  • A brass horizontal dial 11.5 inches in diameter with a 7 inch high gnomon. The dial is intricately engraved and includes compass points and gradations of the clock to two minutes. Made by "E. Nairne", a London dial maker in the 1750's to 1800. Rector Stephanie Chase Wilson says "I believe it was made specifically for our church as it has the name "All St.s Parish Calvt County" written on the face on the opposite side from "E. Nairne." The oral history of its origins is that it was commissioned by the Rev. Thomas Claggett, rector of All Saints from 1769-1777, and again from 1786-1792. He gave the sundial to the church in thanksgiving for being called as the first Bishop consecrated on American soil on September 17, 1792 in Trinity Church, New York."

    "About 15-20 years ago the sundial was stolen from the church, but a quick-thinking parishioner got word out to every antique store within 100 miles and several days later it was recovered. A replica was created and now sits outside the church on a pedestal. The original is under lock and key. The only special care it gets is an occasional dusting. "
 
General Information:Inscription:
  • Owner: All Saints Episcopal Church
  • It has a verse written directly across the dial, partially obscured by the gnomon: "A Wise man's heart descernth both time & Judgment Ecels ch VIII.V 5"
  • Designer: Edward Nairne (London 1749- 1800)
  • Builder: Edward Nairne (London 1749- 1800)
  • Construction Date: ca. 1792
 
References:
  • NASS Other Sundials of the Greater Washington Area

Last Revised: 7/26/2012 8:55