St Mary the Virgin Church Sundial Close-up, Dover, Kent, England, United Kingdom

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Vertically declining sun dial added to St Mary's Church bell tower in 1656. Zoom lens reveals no inscription. 1914 "Ye Sundial Booke" by Thomas Geoffrey Wall Henslow attributes this poem to the dial: "Ye hours that pass beyond recall - Our God hath taken count of all - Determine, then, all time shall be - Not wasted, but improved by thee." Urban (Cannon Street) History.

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Comments (3)

John Latter on March 6, 2013

The sun dial on the south side of the west tower was installed during the time of Oliver Cromwell’s English Commonwealth. It is "vertically declining":

A declining dial is any non-horizontal, planar dial that does not face in a cardinal direction, such as (true) North, South, East or West. As usual, the gnomon's style is aligned with the Earth's rotational axis, but the hour-lines are not symmetrical about the noon hour-line. (nb the "style" is the time-telling edge of the gnomon.)

See a less-magnified photo of St Mary's sundial:

Sundial Verse of St Mary the Virgin Parish Church, Dover

And its location on the bell tower:

The Eight Bells of St Mary the Virgin Church, Dover, Kent, England

St Mary’s Listed Building was originally a Roman site: Saxon church burnt in 1066 when William the Conqueror of Normandy invaded England; a Norman church was built before 1086 (Domesday Book); a Victorian restoration took place between 1843-1844.

Recent photos of the parish church include a set of three:

St Mary the Virgin Parish Church in Sunhine and Snow, Dover, England

St Mary the Virgin Parish Church in Snow and Sunshine, Dover, England

Close-up of St Mary’s Parish Church in Sunshine and Snow, Dover, England


First World War Memorial, St Mary’s Church, Dover

Also see popular 2007 photo:

Victorian Apse of St. Mary the Virgin Parish Church, Dover, Kent, UK

Recent photos of other Dover Churches:

St Paul’s Roman Catholic Church, Maison Dieu Road, Dover

St Paul’s Roman Catholic Church Presbytery

St Columba Church Fire-damaged Ruins, High Street, Dover

John Latter / Jorolat

Dover Blog: The Psychology of a Small Town

This is the Images of Dover website: click on any red or blue "John Latter" link to access the Entry Page.

John Latter on November 12, 2013

Also see the February 2012 photograph:

Bell Tower of Church of St Mary the Virgin in Winter, Dover

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on March 6, 2013
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by John Latter
    • Camera: PENTAX Corporation PENTAX K100D
    • Taken on 2011/01/16 11:36:53
    • Exposure: 0.008s (1/125)
    • Focal Length: 0.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/7.100
    • ISO Speed: ISO200
    • Exposure Bias: -0.30 EV
    • No flash