Tuesday, 24 June 2014

X O'Clock

Roman numerals to the rescue when it comes to the X week of ABC Wednesday. This particular X is telling me it is 11 O'Clock and its summer time.
Taking a step back you can even see my position on the planet on the rim of this sundial, an amazingly flawless piece of polished blue grey slate engraved with an hour scale, calibrated to fifteen minute intervals. The seven declination lines mark the six divisions for the 12 zodiac signs which are engraved on the rim. None of our little group could remember what symbol any zodiac sign was so that part was a bit of a mystery to us all, as it will be for you but for a different reason, the signs which are highlighted in gold leaf on the far sides don't show up in my photograph.
Here is the sundial in its setting, a wild flower meadow on the Holker estate in Cumbria. Weighing in at a tonne and measuring 5' 1" (155cm) with a depth of 15" (38cm) its placement on the large rock beneath it makes it look deceptively small.  Designed by Sir Mark Lennox-Boyd of the British Sundial Society it is a homage to the ancient scaphe sundials invented 2,300 years ago by astronomers on the islands of Samos and Kos.  The Greeks and Romans both used large stone sundials like this based on a partial sphere or scaphe which could tell time accurately if carved to a true sphere and correctly calibrated for a given site like this one. 

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at X here


Leslie: said...

an eXtemely beautiful setting!

abcw team

ellen b. said...

Great find for the letter X. I was looking about for some Roman numerals but didn't come up with any. Beautiful setting for the sun dial!

Roger Owen Green said...

let's hear it for the Romans!

Gerald (SK14) said...

That's a very neatly designed sundial

Nana Jo said...

Very interesting post. I remember learning Roman numerals as a child. We had a sundial in our garden, too.

Tina Basu said...

Xtremely nice.
Tina from The Sunny Side of Life

AmitAag said...

Wonderful! Very interesting!!

Lmkazmierczak said...

I love sundials and noticed this blog below your letter Y entry...Have a great week!