ARMILLARY SPHERE SUNDIAL: KINGSTON LACY, DORSET


ARMILLARY SPHERE SUNDIAL: KINGSTON LACY, DORSET (Keith Salvesen)

This enjoyable armillary sphere at Kingston Lacy stands proudly on a tall stone baluster in the middle of a rose garden. I wanted to get close to it to look for markings, few of which were visible at a distance. However the lush spring growth deterred closer investigation, and I preferred to leave it inspected. It is not included in Historic England’s detailed descriptions of the house and garden. A photograph found online suggests that the sundial was at one time located elsewhere in the garden, near a wall. I need to try a bit harder to find a date for it.

ARMILLARY SPHERE SUNDIAL: KINGSTON LACY, DORSET (Keith Salvesen) ARMILLARY SPHERE SUNDIAL: KINGSTON LACY, DORSET (Keith Salvesen) ARMILLARY SPHERE SUNDIAL: KINGSTON LACY, DORSET (Keith Salvesen) ARMILLARY SPHERE SUNDIAL: KINGSTON LACY, DORSET (Keith Salvesen) ARMILLARY SPHERE SUNDIAL: KINGSTON LACY, DORSET (Keith Salvesen)

All photos: Keith Salvesen Photography

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BRIGHT & BEAUTIFUL: ARUM LILIES


The Arum Lilies (Zantedeschia) have just started to unfurl from their green pointy stage, and the flowers are in flawless condition. I took a closer look at the yellow stick in the middle (spadix – I had to google ‘yellow stick in arum lily’).

Arum Lilies SBA 1 Arum Lilies SBA 2 Arum Lilies SBA 3 Arum Lilies SBA 4Arum Lilies SBA 7

Looking down the spadix, the tightly packed nobbles (nodules?) are beginning to open out into strange little mushroomy shapes. I have no idea what’s going on there, except that it is presumably to do with pollination. Strangely, the bees don’t seem attracted to the flower, which may be poisonous to them.Arum Lilies SBA 5 Arum Lilies SBA 6

Spring. Time to reset the sundial to summertime. This armillary (or bow) sundial was made in Dorset, and rests on a chunk of cut cornish Delabole slate. If you are passing the quarry, they have a slate pile from which you can take offcuts.

Sundial SBA 1