The Longitude Dial is available in three models to suit a variety of settings, from house to apartment to campus or corporate headquarters. Each dial is engraved with the desired inscription and special occasions, marked with a unique serial number, and supplied with a signed and dated certificate of origin.
The Longitude Dial rediscovers time as a measure of the rhythm of nature and expresses it by balancing art and science. In doing so, it has an eternal heart of its own, one that belongs to our family.
Fernando Barnuevo Sebastian de Erice and Gloria Ybarra Malo de Molina
Owners of Longitude Dial No. 7 (Terrace style)
Measuring about 12 inches (30 cm.) in diameter, the Terrace model can be used in a sunny indoor area, such as an atrium, and easily moved to a sun porch or garden terrace of the same house. With the aid of its bubble level, the Dial’s three screw feet can be easily adjusted to accommodate different surfaces. Because it can be personalized in many specials ways, it is a unique gift for an anniversary, the birth of a child, a wedding, or just to remind someone that you love them.
I look at my wristwatch a hundred times a day without thinking, then immediately forget what time it is. But when I go out to consult my Longitude Dial, observe the shadow of the gnomon, and adjust for the equation of time, I feel a delightful sense of accomplishment and enrichment. Time has become more meaningful to me for the experience of telling it in this beautiful way.
Dava Sobel, author of Longitude, Galileo’s Daughter, The Planets, and The Glass Universe
Owner of Longitude Dial No. 4 (Garden style)
For hundreds of years, sundials have been used to complement the elegance and beauty of a garden, silently recording the passage of time and the natural cycles on which life on Earth depends. Sometimes, they include a verse from a poem or other literary quote meaningful to the owner. The Garden-style Longitude Dial is about 23 inches (58 cm.) in diameter and is mounted on a pedestal secured on a firm foundation. A compass rose can also be provided with features, such as the direction and distance of significant places in the life of the client.
The Garden Dial requires at least two site visits, the first is to discuss with the client the desired features and other details, choose an appropriate location that will gives an optimal amount of sunshine throughout the year, and resolve the foundation requirements with a local builder to the specifications provided; on the second visit, after the foundation and the dial parts are ready, the pedestal and the dial will be precisely leveled, oriented, and secured in place.
ranges in size according to the design details of the commission. The smallest so far has been about 3.3 feet (1 meter) in diameter, and the largest about 16.4 feet (5 meters). Like the Garden Dial, it is installed on a custom pedestal in a location that promises abundant sunshine and can be designed to provide calendrical information obtained from the Sun’s apparent motion. The compass rose that surrounds these dials provides a unique opportunity to introduce other information of general interest, such as the direction and distance of cities throughout the world.
ORIGINS: The commissioning of this work by the Texas Christian University was made possible through the generosity of Joseph I. O’Neill III, ’67 to honor his wife Marion Jan Donnelly O’Neill, who graduated from TCU’s Neeley School of Business on June 4, 1969. The TCU Dial is situated at 32°, 42′, 39.14″ North, 97°, 21′, 38.79” West, in front of the F. Howard and Mary D. Walsh Center for Performing Arts on South University Drive. TCU is marked in the center of the map with a gold pin. The inscription around the perimeter of the dial is from “Time is”, a poem composed in 1904 by Henry van Dyke (1852-1933) for a sundial in Katrina Trask’s Yaddo Gardens in Saratoga Springs, New York: Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is not.
COMMEMORATING SPECIAL OCCASIONS: On December 11th and August 15th, the gnomon bead’s shadow follows the lines commemorating the birthdays of TCU’s founders Addison Clark and Randolph Clark, and, on September 1st, their founding of AddRan College at Thorp Spring in 1873. On March 15th each year, it tracks the path of the Sun on the day in 1902 that the name AddRan College was changed to Texas Christian University and, on May 10th, TCU’s move in 1910 to its present location in Fort Worth.
DESIGN: The gold-plated bead on the gnomon (the shadow-casting rod) marks the center point of the map projection and the four polished stainless steel arms that support the gnomon: in the ancient geocentric concept of the heavens, this bead would represent the Earth at the center of the universe while the arms portray great circles of a celestial sphere. The concept of this design is based on an armillary sphere, an instrument employed during the Renaissance for teaching astronomy.
The dial’s pedestal is a heptagon, each side representing one of the seven planets from which the names of the seven days of the week evolved. In their concept of an Earth-centered universe, the ancient Egyptians believed that the Sun and Moon were like the other five “wandering stars” visible with the naked eye and listed them according to the speed of their apparent motion, beginning with the slowest: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, and Moon. Each hour was assigned to a planet and the day was named for the one that presided over its first hour. Therefore, starting with Saturn for the first hour (Saturn’s day) and repeating this same order throughout a 24-hour period (12 of daylight and 12 of darkness), the first hour of the next day would belong to the Sun, hence Sunday. The names by which ancient civilizations called these wandering stars evolved through contributing cultures and traditions into the names of the seven days of the week we use today.
Each of the seven arches is named for one of these wandering stars. In the upper right corner of each arch is the planetary symbol. In the upper left corner is the name of that day in seven different languages, some with Greco-Roman origins and others, such as English, with Germanic roots. After their flight from Egypt, the Jews made Saturn’s day the last day of their week, their Sabbath. Sunday remained the first day of the week in the early Christian church, but is now considered in the majority of countries as the last day, part of the weekend.
The compass rose is engraved with the names, directions, and distances of 196 capital cities. Because the continental boundary between Asia and Europe does not correspond with every national border and is not clearly defined between Asia and Oceania, some countries belong in two continents. In this instance, however, each has been assigned a color to identify it with one of six continents: Africa (maroon, 54 countries), Europe (green, 48), Asia (red, 45), North America (dark blue, 23), Oceania (rust red, 14), and South America (light blue, 12). Four additional cities in Texas are highlighted in purple: three of these — Thorp Spring (near Granbury), Waco, and Fort Worth — are associated with the history of TCU.
MATERIALS: The TCU Dial incorporates the three main types of rock: sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous. The pedestal, the benches, and capstones are made from Indiana limestone, a sedimentary rock formed from particles of sand and other deposits that accumulated in layers over a long period into a hardened sediment. The pointers of the compass rose are made of slate, a metamorphic rock transformed by intense heat and pressure from its previous sedimentary state (shale). This “Hampton purple” slate was quarried in Granville, New York. Igneous rocks are formed when magma (molten rock) cools and hardens. Two types have been used in this design: a grey granite from Barre, Vermont, for the compass rose pavers, and a micro-fine gabbro from India for the dial plate, the meridian plate, and other engraved parts.
Texas Christian University, 2800 South University Drive, Fort Worth, Texas, 76109
Telephone: (001) 817-257-7000
ORIGINS: The Hatfield Dial was commissioned by Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, Seventh Marquess of Salisbury, and his wife Lady Hannah Salisbury to mark the 400th anniversary of Hatfield House in 2011 and to commemorate the life of Robert Cecil (1563-1612), chief minister of King James I and First Earl of Salisbury, for whom the house was built. The dial is located in the West Wing Garden (“the Sundial Garden”) at latitude 51°:45’:38.19” North of the Equator and longitude 0°:12’:40.56” West of Greenwich, about 75 yards southeast of the Old Palace where Henry VIII’s daughter Elizabeth was residing before she became Queen in 1558. Hatfield House lies in the center of the map. Engraved on the dial plate is a passage from an ode by Ben Jonson (1572-1637), a playwright and poet sometimes employed by Robert Cecil:
“In small proportions, we just beautie see: And in short measures, life may perfect bee.”
DESIGN: The design of the polished stainless steel arms supporting the dial plate is based on an armillary sphere, a scientific instrument depicting the heavens that was widely used for teaching astronomy at the time Hatfield House was built. In addition to telling the time, the dial plate serves as a form of nephoscope, a cloud-observing instrument used in the 1800s to observe the direction of the wind by the drift of clouds reflected in its polished black surface.
MATERIALS: The dial plate, information panels, and degree scale are made from a micro-fine igneous rock called gabbro, quarried in China and India. The pedestal is carved from Clipsham limestone, a sedimentary rock found in Lincolnshire not far from Burghley House, where Robert Cecil’s father, Lord Burghley, lived. The compass rose is composed of Cornish granite pavers with large pointers of green Cumbrian slate and small pointers of blue and red Welsh slate. Outside the gabbro degree scale, which is divided from 0° to 360° in a clockwise direction, are arrows showing the direction and distance of 125 places throughout the world: those marked in red point to English cathedrals that were prominent at the time Hatfield House was built; those in black refer to well-known cities and islands; and those in green have historical associations with the Cecil family.
OTHER DETAILS: From an aerial view, you will notice that the compass rose is angled about 3° from the pathways leading to the dial, which are aligned with the house and its surrounding landscape. The Old Palace, built about 1485, also has its own independent orientation. This variance in their alignment from true North suggests that their original surveys were made with a magnetic compass, which would show the direction of the North magnetic pole rather than true North.
Hatfield House, Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL9 5NB, England
Telephone: (+44) 01707 287010
See also: http://www.hatfield-house.co.uk/house-park-garden/the-garden/the-sundial-garden/
Please check opening times before visiting.
ORIGINS: The commissioning of this work by the University of Notre Dame was made possible through the generosity of Joseph I. O’Neill III, ’67 and his wife Jan to honor the memory of Joe’s roommate Michael P. Flynn (’67) and his brother Kevin P. O’Neill, ’69. The Notre Dame Dial is situated about 150 yards northwest of the Notre Dame Stadium at the South entrance to the Jordan Hall of Science: latitude 41°:42’:00.45” North and longitude 86°:13’:54.63” West. The inscription around the perimeter is from Revelation 1, verse 12 in the Bible: A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and a crown of twelve stars.
SPECIAL OCCASIONS: Three lines of special significance to Notre Dame have been added to the dial plate: on March 19, the bead’s shadow follows the line that celebrates the Feast of St. Joseph; on September 15, it traces the line of the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, and, on October 13, the Feast of St. Edward the Confessor, commemorating Founder’s Day.
DESIGN: The gold-plated bead on the gnomon (the shadow-casting rod) marks the center point of the map projection and also the center of the three arms that support the gnomon: in the ancient geocentric concept of the heavens, this bead would represent the Earth at the center of the universe while the arms portray great circles of a celestial sphere. The concept of this design is based on an armillary sphere, an instrument employed during the Renaissance for teaching astronomy. The octagonal design was inspired by its use for baptistries in early Christian architecture. Although its origins are unclear, it has been suggested that seven of the sides represent each day in the creation of the world and the eighth the rebirth through Jesus Christ. Following the traditional concept of the geocentric universe, each of the eight corners of the dial plate are engraved with a planetary symbol. These are arranged in a clockwise direction in the order of their perceived distance from Earth (in the North corner): Saturn (the most distant), Jupiter, Mars, Sun (in the South corner), Venus, Mercury and Moon. The pointed arches of the pedestal reflect the French Gothic style, which, following its use in Notre Dame’s Basilica of the Sacred Heart, was widely adopted on campus.
MATERIALS: The dial plate and the meridian beneath are made from an igneous rock called gabbro, quarried in China. The pedestal was hand-carved from Indiana Oolitic limestone, a sedimentary rock found near Bedford, Indiana. The compass rose is composed of three kinds of granite, another igneous rock: the gray is from Barre, Vermont, the red from Wausau, Wisconsin, and the black degree scale from Bangalore, India. Inside the degree scale circle are arrows indicating the direction and the time of sunrise and sunset of special events connected with the history of the university, including the dates of the birth (at sunrise) and their death (at sunset) of eminent individuals and important occasions. The arrows on the outside of the degree scale show the direction and distance of 84 places on Earth associated with Notre Dame students and alumni. By a remarkable coincidence (or perhaps not!), Notre Dame de St Croix, the founding church of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, is in exactly the same direction as The Vatican, Rome (see image above).
OTHER DETAILS: Note that the compass rose is angled slightly to the East of its octagonal terrace, which is aligned with the other buildings on campus. This difference of about 2.8° probably originated with the original land surveys of the 1840s being made with a magnetic compass, which would indicate magnetic North rather than true North.
ORIGINS: Dedicated to teaching and Learning at Deerfield Academy, the Deerfield Dial was commissioned in 2007 at the same time that the Koch Center for the study of science, mathematics, and technology was under construction. In 2012, the dial was moved to its present site in front of the Boyden Library, where, with the addition of a new pedestal, meridian, and compass rose, it could better serve its educational purpose. In this new location, it stands at 42°, 32′, 47″ North of the Equator and 72°, 36′, 25″ West of the prime meridian of the world at Greenwich, England. Deerfield Academy is located in the center of the map.
MATERIALS: The dial and the meridian plate are made of gabbro, an igneous rock from the Shanxi Province in China; the pedestal from Oolitic limestone, quarried and hard-carved in Bedford Indiana; the compass rose from gray granite from Barre, Vermont; the large green granite pointers from the mountains near Lake Placid, New York, and the smaller red pointers from red granite from Wassau, Wisconsin. The cardinal points of the compass rose are made of blackened brass.
DESIGN: On the map and its surrounding degree scale, the shadow of the gnomon (the shadow-casting wire that points due North) indicates where local noon is occurring. The shadow of the bead marks the point on Earth where the Sun is directly overhead. At the equinoxes, around March 21 and September 22, the bead’s shadow moves along the line of the Equator. At the summer solstice around June 21, it traces the Tropic of Cancer. On March 1, it follows the path of the Sun on the day that Deerfield Academy was founded in 1797.
Deerfield Academy, 7 Boyden Lane, Deerfield, Massachussetts, 01342
Telephone: (001) 413 772-0241
ORIGINS: The Burghley Dial was commissioned by Lady Victoria Leatham to commemorate the life and work of her ancestor William Cecil (1520-1598), the Lord High Treasurer and chief advisor to Queen Elizabeth I who made him Baron Burghley in 1571. Burghley House was built between 1555 and 1587. The Burghley Dial is located in the Garden of Surprises at latitude 52°:38’:32.25” North, longitude 0°:26’:48.92” West. The inscription around the edge of the dial plate reads: “In memory of William Cecil, the 1st Lord Burghley (1520-1598) “who much delighted in making gardens, fountains and walks”.
SPECIAL OCCASIONS: Three lines representing special occasions are engraved on the dial plate: the birth of William Cecil in 1520 on 15 September, his death in 1598 on 4 August, and the opening of the Garden of Surprises on April 1 (the official celebration of the Burghley Dial took place on 27 April). When the sun is shining, the gnomon bead’s shadow will commemorate these occasions by following these lines on their appointed dates.
DESIGN: The dial’s pedestal is a heptagon, each side representing one of the planets from which the names of the seven days of the week evolved. Based on the ancient Egyptian concept of an Earth-centered universe, the planets — those seen with the naked eye (Sun and Moon included) — were believed to orbit the Earth in order of their perceived distance: Saturn (the most distant), Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, and Moon. Each hour of the 24-hour day was assigned to a planet, using the same order repeated consecutively for a period of seven days. Each day was named for the planet that governed its first hour: hence, Saturn’s day became Saturday, the Sun’s Day, Sunday, & etc. Since the planets were associated with mythological gods of different cultures, the day names vary linguistically: from Tiw, the old English name for the Nordic god Tyr, comes Tuesday. The equivalent Roman war god is Mars, from which mardi, martedi, and other related names derived.
MATERIALS: The dial, the meridian, and its vertical plate facing due South are made of gabbro, an igneous rock from China; the pedestal was carved by the stonemasons at Burghley House from a single block of Clipsham limestone that came from a nearby quarry; the pavers used for the compass rose are made of Yorkstone.
Burghley House, Stamford, Lincolnshire PE9 3JY, England
Telephone: (+44) 01780 752451
For more photographs, google “Burghley House sundial photos”
Please check opening times before visiting
ORIGINS: The Pomfret Dial, the first “Monumental-style” Longitude Dial, was commissioned to honor the 99 graduating students in the Class of 2004. It is located in the quad behind the main school building, close to the Corzine Athletic Center & Olmsted Student Union, at latitude 41°53’:8.18” North and longitude 71°:57’:52.94” West.
SPECIAL OCCASIONS: The graduation of the Class of 2004 took place on Saturday, June 5. On that date each year, if the Sun is shining, the shadow of the gnomon’s bead will follow the line engraved on the dial plate to commemorate that special occasion.
DESIGN: The circular dial plate is about 47 inches in diameter and, on its pedestal of six interlocking sections of Barre granite, it stands about 42 inches high.
MATERIALS: The dial and the meridian plate are made of gabbro, an igneous rock from China; the pedestal is made of Barre granite from a quarry in Barre, Vermont. The gnomon post and anchor are of made of brass with a dark-green patina and wax finish, the gnomon of stainless steel with a passivate black finish, and the bead of gold-plated brass.
Pomfret School, Pomfret, 398 Pomfret Street 06259
Telephone: (001) 860-963-6100
ORIGINS: This work was commissioned by the State of Guerrero under the administration of Zeferino Torreblanca and funded by the Federal Government of Mexico in 2010 to commemorate the Bicentenary of Mexico’s Independence. During the next state administration, which came to power in 2011, the funds were used for other projects. Therefore, the construction and final installation cannot be completed until additional financing is forthcoming.
SPECIAL OCCASION: Cielo y Tierra (Heaven and Earth) — the name given to the Chilpancingo Dial — was designed and constructed to commemorate the bicentenary of the Congress of Chilpancingo and Mexico’s first declaration of independence. The Congress took place in the Catedral de Santa María de la Asunción in Chilpancingo. It was there, on September 13, 1813, that José María Morelos presented his “Sentiments of the Nation”, a now famous document that laid out the principles of a constitution to establish Mexico’s independence from Spain.
This monumental sundial was chosen to mark this seminal event in Mexico’s history, because it combines two elements linking the past and the present: astronomy (which played such an important role in the pre-Columbian world) and time measurement (a foundation stone of our present civilization).
DISIGN: With the armillary hemisphere (representing the heavens) arching over the dial (symbolizing Mother Earth), it illustrates the universe known to the Olmecs, Aztecs, and other ancient civilization — and hence its name: Cielo y Tierra.
The five-meter diameter dial encircles the map, and the water in the oceans flows off the edge into the surrounding channel. The fifteen-meter armillary hemisphere arching over the dial supports the gnomon, the shadow casting wire that indicates the time on the hour circle. The compass rose terrace has been designed to appear like an island, echoing the original island city of Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Mexica civilization. The water surrounding the compass rose flows from under its perimeter into the waterfall and moat. Like the causeways that connected Tenochtitlan to the mainland, steps and bridges provide access to the sundial from the North, East, and South, and ramps lead up to the West entrance.
Located in the Bicentennial Park, Chilpancingo, Guerrero, Mexico at latitude at 17°:31′:8.90″ North and longitude 99°:29′:4.53″ West.