Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

Selected Sundials of North America

This is a selected listing of sundials in the North American Sundial Society Registry. Click on any dial thumbnail picture or city name to display the full dial description with additional information and images.

 

British Columbia

 
Brentwood Bay British Columbia Canada Horizontal Dial 928
This is simple horizontal sundial with the standard cast bronze dial plate, 12 inches in diameter. The sundial shows local solar time with Roman numerals from V to VII with noon marked as XII. The dial is delineated with marks for the half and quarter hours. The hour lines and gnomon angle are correct for the latitude. The gnomon root is in the center of the circular casting. Radiating out from the center is a compass rose showing the cardinal directions.
 
 
Burnaby British Columbia Canada Equatorial Dial 930
This substantial and durable 30 inch anodized aluminium equatorial dial is mounted on a concrete plinth with a brass plaque showing the Equation of Time and usage instructions. The gnomon consists of two parallel plates each with a figure-8 analemma cut out. When the figure-8 apertures are rotated toward the sun, the dial illumination is corrected for the equation of time by reading the correct edge of the analemma for the date. If it the gnomon is turned sideways to the sun, the gap between the plates form a slit that produces a narrow beam for reading solar time adjusted to the longitude of the Pacific time zone. The hour scale is marked out at 5 minute intervals. Hours are labeled for Standard Time and for Daylight Saving Time.
 
 
Burnaby British Columbia Canada Horizontal Dial 689
A simple horizontal dial with a pipe gnomon in a gravel bed, about 6 feet in diameter. Flush stone hour markers have raised Roman numerals. Unfortunately, several of the hour markers are incorrectly positioned, and moss and weeds partially obscure much of the dial face. Because of the presence of trees all around it, the dial only receives the sun in the middle of the day, and hardly at all in the winter half of the year. A plaque nearby explains that dial was installed to celebrate the opening of Burnaby Lake Park in 1977.
 
 
Colwood British Columbia Canada Horizontal Dial 656
A 12 inch octagonal stone horizontal dial with Roman hour numerals. Dial face depicts sun rays radiating from a central Beau Soleil to the hour numerals and outer time scale, which displays 5 minute graduations. This historic dial dates from the original Pendray House on the Havenwood, built in 1928. The dial was in poor condition and the gnomon was missing. In July, 2009, NASS member Roger Bailey cleaned the dial, highlighted the markings and fabricated and installed a new brass gnomon. The property is now Essencia at Esquimalt Lagoon, a private resort community but with public access for community activities. A stone path and arch lead to the dial, nearly overshadowed by a large tulip tree.
 
 
Dawson Creek British Columbia Canada Analemmatic Dial 929
An analemmatic dial 23 feet 7 inches wide consisting of a simple concrete slab with black painted marking. Shows solar time plus one hour (akin to Daylight Saving Time). Dial is in memory of a local artist and community activist Edna McPhail (1923 - 2008) who championed the development of the Peace Park in which the dial is located.
 
 
District of North Vancouver British Columbia Canad Analemmatic Dial 926
This rather strange split analemmatic dial shows civil time. It has separate morning and afternoon dials with time marks for standard (blue) and daylight saving (red)time. Instead of the usual linear declination of dates made into a walkway on the meridian line, the split analemmatic dial has two analemmas, one for morning and one for afternoon with the yearly dates for standing on the analemma to correct solar time to civil time. As it turns out, the analemmas that are drawn are not "classic" analemmas but special curves where the position on each date is estimated as an average position to correct for all morning or afternoon hours. The only other such dial is at Longwood Gardens in PA. (NASS #328)
 
 
Kelowna British Columbia Canada Equatorial Dial 716
An approximately 18 inch diameter equatorial dial of brushed aluminum and stainless steel with painted steel equatorial and meridian supports. Hour lines and Arabic hour numerals are marked on dial face and a bow string gnomon is tensioned by the meridian arc, which is adjustable for latitude and provided with a marked scale. Meridian arc is supported on a 3-inch diameter steel pole fixed in concrete.
 
 
Langford British Columbia Canada Horizontal Dial 736
A cast bronze horizontal dial with thick bronze gnomon. Dial face shows hour lines and quarter-hour marks, and Roman hour numerals. Dial center includes a compass rose.
 
 
Nelson British Columbia Canada Armillary Dial 584
A 4 foot wide by 6 foot tall armillary dial of mild steel and blown glass. Dial is manually adjustable for standard or DST. Ecliptic ring includes zodiacal symbols. Dial base includes a 12 inch hemispherical time capsule to be opened October 14, 2015.
 
 
Oak Bay British Columbia Canada Horizontal Dial 738
A 10 inch square brass or bronze horizontal dial atop a 22 inch square concrete base with cross-shaped plinth 42 inches high. The natural patina developed by the corrosive sea air has reduced the contrast of the markings. Stylized Arabic hour numerals are engraved in circles. Engraved scrolls add interest but some confusion to the dial face. The dial face and gnomon are only one-eighth inch thick but remain intact.
 
 
Oliver British Columbia Canada Horizontal Dial 809
A lovely horizontal dial with an 8-foot high stainless steel gnomon. The hour lines are done as colorful alternating red and cream segments set in a 8-foot radius semi-circle. The gnomon is triangular in cross section with a single thin edge casting the shadow. The dial hour numbers are set for daylight, since all of the winery's 100,000 annual visitors are seasonal, coming when Pacific Daylight Time is in place.
 
 
Penticton British Columbia Canada Analemmatic Dial 240
This analemmatic dial, called the Skaha Solar Timepiece is on a lakefront beach, spanning an area of 65 x 35 feet. At the center is a large 15 foot raised wooden platform supporting a flat steel analemma with months/dates pierced through. Observer stands on current date to be the gnomon. The hour markers are short concrete posts. These posts, which form an ellipse around the platform, were originally wood when the dial was first designed by Gwen Boyle a sculptor from Vancouver. After 14 years of weathering, the rotting wood was replaced by concrete during renovations in 1998.
 
 
Saanich British Columbia Canada Horizontal Dial 935
The dial is simply but pleasingly decorated. The gnomon is plain. The pedestal is carved from stone taken from ruins of the Basilica of Ste. Anne de Beaupre in Quebec. The Quebec connection is indicated by the use of a Fleur De Lys on the dial face, and Napier's Scottish heritage is referenced by thistle motifs on brass accoutrements fitted to the pedestal.
 
 
Saanichton British Columbia Canada Horizontal Dial 936
A simple horizontal bronze sundial about 9 inches in diameter. A sun occupies the interior of the dial with hour lines extending to a chapter ring with Roman numerals marking the hours. Each hour is divided into eight parts along the outer edge of the dial. The dial sits on a square plinth with corresponding square stepped base.
 
 
Sidney British Columbia Canada Equatorial Dial 682
A 20 inch diameter brass equatorial dial with equatorial, meridian and equinoctial colure rings. Gnomon has two nodus balls that may show solar position at solstices. Equatorial ring has 15-minute marks and Arabic hour numerals. The dial alignment needs adjustment for its current location.
 
 
Sidney British Columbia Canada Horizontal Dial 749
A 10 inch diameter horizontal bronze dial with hour lines, quarter hour marks and Roman hour numerals. The dial face includes a central compass rose. The dial sits atop a fluted concrete pedestal. The dial is gnomonically correct, designed for latitude.
 
 
Surrey British Columbia Canada Sculpture Dial 934
The sculpture, titled "Gnomon", is a metal clematis leaf about 9ft tall and 3ft 6in wide at its widest point. It varies from about 1 in at the edge to about 4 in in the middle. The base is marked with cardinal directions and a present map of the neighborhood. There are a series of twelve 9 inch disks arranged around the sculpture set at a radius of 9 ft. The disks are positioned every 30 degrees around the circle, and at the north point, is an additional disk for "12 PST". All components of the sculpture are case iron, set into a graveled area. According to accompanying information,"Gnomon, featured in Fleetwood Park’s perennial garden, is inspired by the notion of a sundial marking time. A gnomon is the central part of a sundial that casts a shadow that marks the passage of time. This artwork tells the story of the passage of time in the growth, change, and appearance of Fleetwood’s historic community landmarks.
 
 
Vancouver British Columbia Canada Equatorial Dial 645
A 30 inch diameter bronze equatorial dial. A slot in the rotatable gnomon project a line of sunlight onto the equatorial ring displaying Arabic hour numerals. Dial is corrected for longitude. Dial is mounted on a 53 inch high stone pedestal. This dial is also known as the George Cunningham Memorial Sundial as it was sponsored by the Cunningham Drug Stores to commemorate the opening of their first store in 1911 at a nearby corner.
 
 
Vancouver British Columbia Canada Horizontal Dial 648
A large concrete and pebble horizontal dial with a 30 foot high gnomon. Hour lines are wood dividers in concrete with Roman numeral hour markers. Dial center and gnomon are situated in a lily pond. Dial is on private property but is fully visible from public street.
 
 
Vancouver British Columbia Canada Vertical Dial 919
This bright and colorful vertical dial declines west, showing "Hours to Sunset" (Italian hours). The dial is held up by two posts on a board 60 x 90 cm (24 x 36 inches). The dial face is decorated in the colours of the rainbow, with a band of color for each hour left to sunset. Quarter hours are marked using thin white lines. The dial was commercially printed on aluminum-plastic laminated material, with a UV protective coating. The gnomon is a repurposed decorative gate hinge. The supporting structure is made from red cedar.
 
 
Vancouver British Columbia Canada Horizontal Dial 920
This is a 25 cm horizontal dial engraved on a 1/4 inch yellow metal plate (probably bronze). It shows local solar time. The hour marks look precise and consistent, but upon closer look are oddly arranged. The dialist attempted to shift the dial hour lines to correct for longitude (3.17 deg west). The AM hour lines are fairly accurate except the earliest hour lines (IV, V) which inconsistently meet the gnomon foot on the wrong side. The PM hour lines seem to mirror the AM lines except that 3 degrees had been added to each, rendering inaccurate time throughout the afternoon. The gnomon is slightly bent, and nearby buildings and trees block the dial at some times of day. The dial is decorated using simple geometric and visually pleasing patterns. Shallow engraving is used for the hour lines (making them a bit difficult to read), labels, and decoration. The gnomon has a bird engraved on each side and sits on a wedge base. The dial sits on a short granite pedestal with a polished top surface, and was commissioned by his parents in memory of Robert Carlyle Howard (born 1953, died 1970).
 
 
Vancouver British Columbia Canada Horizontal Dial 925
A delightful dial in a delightful setting, well worth the modest admission fee. It is an 18 inch patinated bronze disk mounted on an elegant white granite pedestal, with the hours adjusted to the time zone. The face is a finely crafted bas relief delineated in quarter hours, with the hours labeled using Roman numerals. The lower part of the dial shows the Arms of UBC, along with the leaves and flower spikes of a plant. In keeping with the medicinal purpose of a Physic Garden, the sculpted gnomon features a snake (a traditional symbol for a physician) entwined around a poison chalice (a traditional symbol for a pharmacist). A plaque on the pedestal dedicates the dial to Frank Ebenezer Buck, 1876 - 1970, UBC’s first Landscape Architect. The pedestal is from the 1920s, predating the dial, and was used elsewhere in the Botanical Gardens for their now-lost original sundial.
 
 
Vancouver British Columbia Canada Analemmatic Dial 927
The analemmatic sundial is laid within a 15-foot circle of light red concrete, set in the middle of a large grey concrete concourse on the south side of the school. Hour points are marked by 4-inch bronze disks embedded in the concrete; the declination scale is made of embedded tiles. The scale is red in part and blue in part, denoting the summer and winter periods. Correspondingly, each hour point hour is labeled twice; red for Daylight Saving Time and in blue for Standard Time. The dial incorporates a longitude correction for the time zone, and features Sunrise & Sunset Markers ("Bailey Points"). All labels were hand-painted by students - a deliberate measure intended to require occasional repainting and hence continued student engagement and involvement with the dial over the years.
 
 
Vancouver British Columbia Canada Equatorial Dial 931
A simple but elegant and well-executed bronze equatorial dial by renowned local sculptor Gerhard Class. It is about 24-inches in diameter and is mounted on a 16 x 16 x 36-inch plinth of nephrite jade, damaged at one corner. The gnomon has a central slit and can be rotated about the polar axis to create a narrow beam of light for precise reading of the sun's position. The dial shows local solar time plus one hour, corresponding to Daylight Saving Time. The dial's construction is technically perfect but, sadly, the dial appears to be misaligned with the gnomon axis pointing 7 deg west of north.
 
 
Vancouver British Columbia USA Horizontal Dial 932
This was once a very beautiful sundial sitting on a short concrete pedestal. Now it has a missing gnomon and the dial color is uniformly aquamarine except where the coating has been rubbed away to reveal a white substrate. Tapping the dial face makes a dull sound suggesting the dial is not metal and may be hollow. A possible explanation is that the dial could be made of some kind of cast resin or fiberglass and was then spray-painted. The dial face itself is elegantly sculpted into five sectors, showing clusters of flowers, berries and fruits, creating a pronounced 3D effect. Because of this, the hour lines are reduced to short ticks at the edge of the dial face. The dial shows solar hours, marked off using Roman numerals.
 
 
Vernon British Columbia Canada Analemmatic Dial 933
On a barren hill sits a simple analemmatic dial in an area cleared of brush. Rather than standing on a walkway that is common for outdoor analemmatic dials, this one uses a movable poles gnomon guided in a slot. The slot is surrounded by an analemma with dates allowing the pole to be adjusted for the date of viewing. The central date scale assembly is wooden. The dial hour marks are concrete disks with glass mosaics on top created by local artist Connie Vetter-Johnson. Above the noon hour mark is a larger disk with a glass mosaic image of a hawk. Photographs of the site hint that some of the hour marks may have been inadvertantly moved out of position.
 
 
Victoria British Columbia Canada Horizontal Dial 813
This brass horizontal sundial was designed and engraved for use in the town of Hope BC by British Royal Engineers in 1860. The circular dial is 8 inches diameter with a triangular gnomon. Time lines are engraved at 15 minute intervals from 4 am to 8 pm. The dial is on display in the museum beside other survey instruments and the red uniform of a Royal Engineers Sergeant.
 
 
Victoria British Columbia Canada Horizontal Dial 572
A replica 12-inch bronze horizontal dial on a concrete plinth. This dial is a memorial for Marjorie Napier, a twelve-year-old St. Ann's student who died on 31 May, 1922. The original dial and limestone plinth were moved to Queenswood, a private retirement home for elderly nuns and seniors. A plaque for the replica dial reads, "In memory of Una Holm (Robertson) Class of 1928. Thank you the Sisters of St Ann's, the strength of Sister Eleanor Marie and the Rock which was St Ann's Academy. Replica sundial donated by husband Sandy E S A Holm and their daughter Karen Michaelson (Holm) Class of '53."
 
 
Victoria British Columbia Canada Vertical Dial 575
A 30x20-inch vertical dial declining 7° 33' west of south made of granite inset in a stone wall. A memorial dial for Betty Whitlow commissioned by Dean Brian Whitlow. Inscribed, "IN MEMORIAM BETTY WHITLOW, UXOR MATER DELICTISIMUA, MCMXCVI." Information on EOT and longitude corrections are available just inside the south door of the cathedral.
 
 
Victoria British Columbia Canada Analemmatic Dial 663
A 20 foot overall tinted concrete analemmatic dial with brass numerals, aluminum and granite slabs. Distance between major axis and small hour marks is 16.4 feet. Brass Roman numerals 10 inches high are set in a grey outer ring. Longitude and EOT corrections are marked beside the monthly date marks. A plaque commemorating the British Columbia 150 year celebration includes instructions on use and information on the dial designers and sponsors. Andrei Golovkine, a local designer and community activist conceived, designed and proposed the project to the sponsors. Dr. Dmitry Monin, an astrophysicist at the nearby NRC Herzberg Institute provided the gnomonic design.
 
 
Victoria British Columbia Canada Horizontal Dial 924
A standard cast bronze sundial, 12 inches in diameter. It shows solar time with Roman numerals from V to VII with noon as XII. Also marked are the half and quarter hours. The hour lines and gnomon angle are correct for the latitude. The gnomon root is in the center of the circular casting in the center of the wind rose showing the cardinal directions.
 
 
Victoria British Columbia Canada Horizontal Dial 752
A bronze horizontal dial with hour lines, quarter-hour marks and Roman hour numerals. Dial face includes a central compass rose. The dial sits atop a carved cedar totem depicting an Orca killer whale. The totem is carved in the Coastal Salish tradition by Aubrey LaFortune, a member of the Cowichan Band of native Canadians.
 
 
Victoria British Columbia Canada Horizontal Dial 753
A 12 inch diameter cast bronze horizontal dial with hour lines, quarter-hour marks and Roman hour numerals. Dial face includes a central compass rose with cardinal directions. Dial sits atop a cast concrete pedestal sculptured with curves, fronds and cherubs. Hatley Castle was the stately mansion for the Dunsmuir family, built in 1908 by James Dunsmuir, whose father Robert had built Craigdarroch Castle in downtown Victoria. This is one of numerous common-design sundials in Victoria.
 
 
Victoria British Columbia Canada Horizontal Dial 754
A 9 inch diameter cast bronze dial with hour and half-hour marks and Roman hour numerals. The dial face has a compass rose at the center with cardinal and ordinal directions. The casting is of poor quality and the gnomon, brazed in place, is bent and at the wrong angle. The sundial is a monument to the Point Hope Shipyard. Engraved on one side is the history of the shipyard, the oldest in British Columbia, renovated and reopened in 2007. The cast dial pedestal is marked, "This newel post was saved from the demolition of St. Mary's Hospital, Victoria.
 
 
Victoria British Columbia Canada Horizontal Dial 755
A 12 inch diameter cast bronze horizontal dial with hour lines, quarter-hour marks and Roman hour numerals. Dial face includes a central compass rose with cardinal directions. The dial sits atop a cast decorative concrete pedestal. The dial is correctly designed for the location and is one of at least seven such dials in the Victoria area.
 
 
Victoria British Columbia Canada Horizontal Dial 756
A 12 inch diameter cast bronze horizontal dial with hour lines, quarter-hour marks and Roman hour numerals. Dial face includes a central compass rose with cardinal directions; large characters inscribe RVYC and 1992. Dial sits atop a tapered mortared stone pedestal
 
 
White Rock British Columbia Canada Horizontal Dial 759
A 9 x 12 inch stainless steel horizontal dial with 4 AM to 8 PM hour lines and Roman hour numerals for 6 AM and 6 PM. Dial is set on a 24 inch square capital atop a 30 inch high pedestal of concrete and local stones. This pedestal sits on a 50 inch square concrete base that was saved when the railway was moved in 1984
 
 
Wynndel British Columbia Canada Equatorial Dial 760
A ring equatorial dial built inside a cross-sectioned propane LPG tank. The equatorial surface has an inset plaque that shows EOT corrected time and includes declination lines for date shown by the shadow of the nodus on the polar gnomon wire. Dial sits on a granite block pedestal that shows cardinal directions.