Garden Sundials

sundials Questions

  • Can you put a sundial anywhere?
  • The location of a sundial is important if you want accurate time telling. A sundial needs to be located in full sunlight throughout the day in order to tell the time all day long. Partial sun suffices if you are happy with a sundial that tells the time for part of the day.

    If the aesthetics of the sundial are the main requirement and time telling is less important, then a sundial can go anywhere – sun, shade, and anywhere in between.

  • Do sundials tell accurate time?
  • A well made sundial can be very accurate; and the larger the sundial the more accurate it becomes. But sundial time is different to clock time. Natural irregularities in the path of the shadow cast on a sundial mean that sundial time will sometimes diverge slightly from clock time. The difference between sundial time and clock time varies throughout the year, peaking at 16 minutes and averaging out at four minutes.

    In the UK, David Harber calibrates sundials to GMT. In other countries, sundials will tell the time for your local time zone.

    Vertical sundials are a little different. Ideally wall mounted sundials in the Northern hemisphere should face as close to South as possible, thereby showing the time for the maximum number of hours. But as David Harber makes vertical sundials for the orientation of individual walls, East facing wall sundials are able to tell the time in the morning, while vertical sundials facing West can tell the time in the afternoon and evening hours.

  • How are sundials installed?
  • For accurate time telling, sundials need to be precisely positioned and aligned. Our team of installers is expert at securely installing all manner of sundials in a wide range of locations.

    Installation is included in the price for sundials installed in mainland UK. For overseas, detailed instructions are provided.

  • What types of sundials does David Harber make
  • David Harber makes three main types of sundials: armillary sphere sundials; vertical sundials which attach to a wall; and traditional horizontal sundials. All three types have a long history dating back to ancient times so owning any of these sundials is a great way to connect with the past as well as a salutary reminder of the inexorable passage of time. The company also makes a few unusual sundials which are as much sculpture as time pieces.

    The right sundial for you depends on what you are looking to achieve in your garden. Are you looking for accurate time telling? Is traditional style an important consideration? Do you want a big impressive feature? The location of the sundial in your garden is another factor.

    David Harber will help you find which sundial will suit your space.


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