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Stone Garden Sundials and Armillary

Stone Garden Sundials and Armillary

A Stone Sundial adds a touch of traditional style to any garden space.

Our stunning sundials and armillary are handcrafted from metal, with beautifully designed stone columns for them to stand on. Our garden sundials have top plates made from brass, copper, aged brass and in round or square shapes.

As you may know, a garden sundial is an ancient tool that allows you to tell the time based on the position of the sun during the day. But, to get the most out of your sundial, you need to place it in the right direction and angle. Aside from its practical use, the garden sundial is a beautiful addition to any landscaping design scheme.

If you’re interested in acquiring a garden sundial, we’re going to share with you the best sundials available. They’re all made from different finishes such as cast iron, bronze, and brass.

There’s nothing more satisfying than finding a sundial with the perfect finish to complement your landscaping.

A Short History

As we mentioned, sundials are ancient time-telling tools that people used to determine what time of day it is. Early versions of this tool were very rudimentary and included things like a marked wooden shoe or a stick in the sand.

Over time, the design of sundials evolved to include the Roman sundial, the shadow clock from Babylon, as well as the obelisk from Egypt. However, sundials really came popular during the Renaissance when demand for them increased to the point that manufacturers couldn’t make them fast enough.

Perhaps this had something to do with the fact that humanity was becoming increasingly civilised and time-telling is an important part of that.

However, nowadays sundials are no longer essential for telling time but are still used as decorative items for the garden or for curb appeal.

Did you know that the largest sundial in the world is a Taiwanese skyscraper called Taipei 101 and you can use it to tell time by looking at where its shadow is facing on the adjoining park.

How Do Sundials Work?

Contrary to popular belief, sundials are not all made equal. They work differently from one another. For instance, you have equatorial sundials which feature a fixed dial plate that corresponds to the equator. Then you have Analemmatic sundials which tell the time using several points alongside an ellipse. You can use the latter to tell the time by looking at the position of the shadow being cast by the vertical gnomon.

To get the most out of your sundial, you must ensure that the gnomon is tilted at the right angle, preferably in correspondence with the Earth’s axis. You should also account for the Earth’s tilted axis to ensure optimal accuracy. The gnomon’s angle should also be positioned in a way that corresponds with the dial plate’s location latitude.

For instance, London has a latitude of 51 degrees north. In this case, New York City sundials must be positioned 51 degrees above the dial plate. That way, the long part of the gnomon, known as the hypotenuse, will be positioned in correspondence to the Earth’s axis.

Style of Sundials

The sundial is more than just another rendition of a watch. It’s a style statement that can instantly elevate the look and feel of your garden or patio. In fact, it can transform your garden into a Zen-like space where you connect with nature by keeping track of time the old-fashioned way.

You’ll definitely feel closer to the rhythms of nature whenever you take time out to observe and enjoy the movements of the sundial. Now, there are two types of popular sundials to choose from, namely the armillary and horizontal sundial. The one you pick will depend on your own personal taste, otherwise, they work in pretty much the same way.

With that said, there are a couple of noticeable differences between the two that you must consider.

Horizontal Sundials

Horizontal sundials are also known as sundial plates and are characterised by a flat-lying design that’s placed atop a pedestal. It’s easier to tell time using a horizontal sundial when compared to an armillary sundial.

The best part is that you can customise them with a personalised inscription or saying inscribed at the bottom. This and other features of the horizontal sundial are what make it a perfect gift.

Armillary Sundials

The ancient Greeks are credited with inventing the armillary sundial, which was referred to as “shadow clocks” back then. They were designed to look like armillary globes, with an aesthetic that takes after the universe. Naturally, planet Earth would always be at the centre of this design with stars orbiting around it.

This design can still be found in modern-day armillary sundials that have dots that connect into a circular universe of constellations. It definitely creates an attractive point of interest in any garden.

This sundial works by showing the time of day based on where the shadow falls on the marked band. In terms of aesthetics, it offers a one of a kind design that’s sure to strike a cord with anyone that sees it and it’ll start a conversation when hosting al fresco dinner parties or cocktail shindigs.

It truly transports you to an ancient world where beauty was worshipped and appreciated as an essential aspect of life.

What Are the Materials?

Sundials are built tough from weatherproof materials like cast iron, aluminium and brass, which means they can easily withstand the elements. This makes them the perfect outdoor décor accessory.

They also add an element of uniqueness to your landscaping design because how many people do you know have sundials in their backyards?

Here are the main materials used:

  • Brass

    Brass sundials are by far the lowest maintenance of all your options. They feature a sleek polished brass finish which is complimented by a weathered dark patina.

    This makes them a durable and long-lasting option that’ll age incredibly well over time. Plus, you don’t have to worry about rust, thanks to the brass material, which is easy to maintain with simple brass polish.

  • Aluminium

    Aluminium sundials are lightweight, low maintenance and affordable. They also come in a variety of beautiful colours.

  • Cast Iron

    Lastly, you have cast iron sundials, which are pricier but totally worth it when you consider how beautiful they are. The unique antique rust detailing is definitely an interesting design element to look forward to.