SUNDIALS ON THE ISLE OF WIGHT
On a recent impromptu visit to the Isle of Wight, we came across a number of sundials. Sadly we didn’t go to Brading, so we missed the annelematic sundial and the unusual ‘public’ sundial there. On the other hand, I did get to see the Mary Watts ‘Arts & Crafts’ sundial at Tennyson’s former home Farringford (now a hotel in the process of renovation), of which more below…
1. A CHURCHYARD SUNDIAL AT GODSHILL
2. TWO SUNDIALS AT A PRIVATE HOUSE NEAR SHORWELL
3. THE MARY WATTS ‘ARTS & CRAFTS’ SUNDIAL AT FARRINGFORD
Among Tennyson’s coterie of friends and regular visitors to Farringford were painter G.F.Watts and his wife Mary. You’ll find all you need – or (probably) want – to know about them here WATTS GALLERY COMPTON. Having seen this pedestal in real life, my completely amateur view is that a suggestion that our own sundial (unearthed by me as a child from a pigsty at my home) is a Watts pedestal is unlikely to be correct. To be honest, I was a bit disappointed by this one: very much Compton style, but not to my taste (if one is allowed to say that…). The lettering is incised, whereas on mine it is embossed (I’m not sure MW used that technique). So although mine has an authentic Liberty plate, the ID of the commissioned pedestal maker remains a mystery – probably lost through the standard Liberty practice of failing to credit their artists or to retain records of their commissioned work. To see the ‘Pigsty Sundial’ and examples of sundials at the Watts Gallery, click SUNDIALS and scroll down through the gallery.