The Ripple Sundial Gnomon-Renewal 2005-2006


The sundial was originally donated to Ripple Church in Kent in 1905 by a Mr. S.E. Spicer. Before this was known Christopher Daniel had interpreted the engraved monogram on the dial as S E S, so the church concluded that these were the initials of the donor, rather than those of the maker. This does strengthen the belief that it was purpose made for Ripple. However and rather sadly, the archives give no indication either to the original cost of the sundial nor of the delineator or its maker.

The church archives do however record that ten shillings was paid to the Deal Boatmen's Rooms in 1905 for stones from Sandown Castle to make a pedestal for the sundial.

The sundial was initially installed on the north side of the church and on the left is a photograph taken in 1909 of the Ripple Church Choir grouped around the sundial.

This photograph did not come into the Church's possession until after Christopher had made the new gnomon, but the photograph shows very well that he was very accurate in reproducing the original design! The original gnomon had been missing certainly for the previous 40 or so years.

In 2005, the Church decided that the sundial should be restored and that, given permission, it should be moved to the south of the church in more open ground.

The dial was duly restored by Christopher Daniel in 2005, repatinated and was moved, together with the original pedestal, to a new position to the south of the church in 2006. A photograph taken at the time the sundial shows it fixed in its new position. From left to right - Christopher Daniel, the two contractors who moved the sundial and the church architect, Ms Maureen O'Connor.

Christopher's 2005 design drawing for the replacement gnomon as drawn, is shown below.

(Image ©CStJH Daniel 2005)