No watch or mobile phone and wondering if the Lady Lever Art Gallery pictured in the distance will be open yet? No problem. At ones feet is an Analemmatic Sundial. Stand on the appropriate month on the marked
indentation and a shadow will be cast across an hour pillar. The inner circle is British Summer Time and the outer circle is winter's Greenwich Mean Time. This analemmatic sundial was installed for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012 at Port Sunlight on the Wirral and was, I thought, the first I had seen, although that was not true, it was just that I didn't know they had a name. Here is my assistant demonstrating the one near the Houses of Parliament in London
where his shadow tells us it is 11 O'clock (my camera's date stamp may be a little more precise at 11:30).
"The more common sort of sundial has an angled post (usually called the gnomon, or sometimes the style) which casts a shadow on a circular dial. Its analemmatic cousin, on the other hand, has a vertical gnomon, which casts a shadow on an elliptical scale. For it to tell the time with adequate accuracy (you may recall Hilaire Belloc’s verse complaint: “I am a sundial, and I make a botch, of what is done much better by a watch”), the gnomon must first be moved to the correct position along a north-south axis according to the season. Though a small sundial of this type is rather fiddly to make and use, large ones laid out on a flat area permit a person to act as the gnomon (my local one is of this sort). Earnest enquirers after chronological intelligence then need only position themselves at the appropriate spot along the axis for the time of year and — weather permitting — they can then read off the time by noting where their shadow falls on the scale". Source: World Wide Words
An entry to ABC Wednesday, starting another journey through the alphabet here