Illustrated Dictionary of British Churches

History and Architecture

Scratch Dial

A very simple form of sun dial, usually in a circular shape. Scratch dials were scratched or carved into the exterior church wall and used to tell the time, especially the time of church services. In an age when clocks were unknown or exceptionally rare, such primitive sundials may have been essential as a way to determine the correct time for services. At the centre of the dial is a hole where a small peg was inserted to act as a simple sundial marker. They might have had only three or four radiating sections, rather than a full 360 degree of lines, as it was only necessary to tell the time of services, so extra lines were unnecessary.

Attraction search
in



National Trust

National Trust membership

National Trust membership

Free entry to National Trust properties throughout England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, plus discounted admission to National Trust for Scotand properties.

Membership details

About the National Trust


HISTORY CORNER

Name the Historic attraction

Name the mystery historic attraction
See larger image



British History Quiz

Sir Winston Churchill was born at what stately home?



 Clue

This Day in British History

21 October, 1559

Mary of Guise deposed as Regent of Scotland

Mary, mother of Mary, Queen of Scots, was ousted by the Lords of the Congregation for letting the French fortify Leith

Monarch Mayhem

She was later dubbed 'the Nine Day's Queen'



 Clue

Passionate about British Heritage!