The Buerton Sundial Hoard

One of the most exciting finds from Cheshire in 2015 comes from the parish of Buerton. It is this fantastic wooden sundial found with a lovely hoard of silver coins of Elizabeth I and one of Mary.








The hoard consists of one silver groat of Mary, (1553-1554) and eleven silver coins of Elizabeth I, (1558-1603). These include three sixpence, four groats, three threepences and one halfgroat and fragments of wood. The coins themselves are a great find but the finder did a fantastic job in spotting this tiny bit of wood and bringing it in. At first we thought it was just a tree root so imagine our excitement when we realised it is a rare sundial probably made in Nuremburg.


The three fragments of wood when placed together form a sub-rectangular object. In the centre is a carved circular pit with a central hole for a pin and the walls are stepped to accommodate a brass ring and then a sheet of glass. Between the two halves at the break below the pit is a possible circular pin hole. This would have tethered the string gnomon which also attached to the raised lid and cast the shadow which allowed the user to tell the time. Radiating engraved lines would have held the magnetic compass. A double circular engraved border around the central recess, is divided by diagonal grooves, which form the hour lines, six of which are visible. The Roman numerals IX and X are visible just above 9.00 and 10.00 of the dial. Above and to the left of the X is an engraved small circular sun formed of eight radiating lines representing the sun’s rays projecting from the central circle.


The full record can be found at LVPL-08F250. A fantastic find which could have so easily been missed.