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Architecture in detail: sundials


Sundials is the second gallery in a series to celebrate the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design in 2016 which showcases architectural details from the collections of Historic Environment Scotland (HES). Sundials are structures used to show the time of day by means of the sun shining on a 'gnomon', the shadow of which falls on the surface of the dial which is marked with a diagram showing the hours. These can be freestanding, usually on a pillar, or fixed to a building.

The National Record of the Historic Environment at HES includes a wealth of material illustrating buildings and gardens across Scotland, including more than 650 recorded sundials, dating back to the 17th-century and of a great variety of types and styles.The collections include historic prints and drawings as well as survey photographs and information from the past hundred years which create a fascinating architectural record.

The collections can be consulted in our Search Room and through our online resources. This includes Canmore where new images and information are added every day through ongoing surveys of Scotland's built heritage, as well as through an active digitisation programme of negatives, prints and drawings.