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A Time for Sundials

Even though clocks existed in the 1670s, public sundials were an important part of everyday life in London and throughout Europe. This story from the Athenian Mercury of 1692/3 (iv, No. 4), the year before the erection of the original Sundial Pillar, provides a graphic illustration of the need for sundials:

"I was walking in Covent Garden where the clock struck two, when I came to Somerset-House by that it wanted a quarter of two, when I came to St. Clement Danes it was half past two, when I came to St. Dunstans it wanted a quarter to two, by Mr. Knib's Dyal in Fleet-street it was just two, when I came to Ludgate it was half an hour past one, when I came to Bow Church it wanted a quarter of two, by the Dyal near the Stocks Market it was a quarter past two, and when I came to the Royal Exchange it wanted a quarter of two. Thus I averr for a Truth, and desire to know how long I was walking from Covent Garden to the Royal Exchange?"

The following extracts are from The Seven Dials by founder trustee, the late Sir John Summerson.

01 Pillar Sundials from -The Seven Dials- written by Sir John Summerson founder trustee

 

02 Pillar Sundials from Seven Dials The Book

 

Pillar Sundials from �The Seven Dials� by founder trustee, the late Sir John Summerson, founder trustee

 

 

THE SEVEN DIALS BOOKBook  THE SEVEN DIALS - Erected 1694, Removed 1773, Reconstructed 1988-9.
Published By the Trust in 1989.

 

 

 

 

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