Castletown, sundial

Old Market Hall can be seen to right.. A.M. Crellin makes following point:

About this dial very little is known; it is on the top of a massive column of masonry, some 5ft. high, and 18ft. circumference, and generally known by the name of "The Babby House" —the Dial has twelve faces, three of these, upon which the Sun cannot shine, would appear to he dummies, put up for the sake of symmetry, as they have no numerals: one other face has lost its gnomon which should be a narrow strip at one edge; a small patch of white paint is substituted for it. The date cut on the principal face is 1720, so that Train, in his History of the Isle of Man, page 341, vol. II., is clearly in error when he says it probably stood there before the Clock was given; there is no reason for supposing the date not to be genuine. It is said that somewhere in Denmark there is another dial similar to this. It is certainly strange that nothing is known of by whom, or why, this Dial was erected; its great height makes it almost useless; rumour says that its tells the time by moonlight, as well as sunlight; but this surely would be difficult, though not impossible ;—the lunar hour being two minutes and a few seconds longer than the solar, and the lunar day being about 50 minutes longer than a solar day, by a process of calculation the hour iudicated in lunar time can be converted into solar; and of course there are many other methods. But a better way of telling the time by night would be by a system of star clocks, which are much more manageable.

 [Castletown Index]


Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
© F.Coakley , 2000