Georgian Sundials
Machinery Richmond North Yorkshire

Georgian Sundials

Machinery In Richmond, North Yorkshire

Georgian era sundials on two facades of one house at The Green in Richmond.

The Georgian Era, typically described as the period between 1714 and around 1837 and coinciding with the reigns of Georges I to IV, was a period of great change in Britain including numerous wars, the building of the Empire and beginnings of the Industrial Revolution.

This flourishing period coincided with a growing fascination with science and reason. Sundials, with their reliance on the sun's position to tell time, epitomised this scientific spirit. They offered a precise and elegant means of timekeeping, aligning perfectly with the Georgian ideals of order and rationality.

Down by the River Swale in Richmond there is a small house which has two Georgian Sundials on it, dating from 1720 and 1721. The house belonged to William Hutton and it was he who erected them, one on the southern façade and one on the eastern.

The sundial to the eastern façade only tells the time until 12pm and has a Latin inscription “Ut Hora Sic Vita” which translates as “As is the hour, so is life”. The sundial to the southern façade shows the time for most of the daylight hours.

Why did Mr Hutton put these sundials on his house? Who knows for sure but it may have been as simple as following the Georgian zeitgeist and adding some external decoration to his home. We visited them at around 11am and as you can see on the photos, their accuracy and the skill of the maker still stands the test of time... (No pun intended).

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54.40121, -1.740394

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54.40121, 54.40121

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Parking is available nearby at Yorke Square.

Contributed by Andrew Gardner

I love being outdoors, in nature, and experiencing the relaxation it brings. Wandering through the northern countryside seeing unexpected buildings, historic places and occasionally surprised wildlife is one of life's great pleasures.

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Andrew Gardner

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Georgian Sundials was listed in Machinery // North Yorkshire // Richmond