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Ormidale House, Sundial

Sundial (18th Century)

Site Name Ormidale House, Sundial

Classification Sundial (18th Century)

Canmore ID 156736

Site Number NS08SW 14.01

NGR NS 0034 8171

NGR Description NS c.0034 8171

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish Kilmodan
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Argyll And Bute
  • Former County Argyll


Field Visit (June 1988)

This sundial stands on a grassy terrace at the S angle of the sunken garden of Ormidale House, a small mansion of early 18th-century date which was largely rebuilt in the late 19th century (see Introduction). It was brought to Ormidale in 1897 from Ballimore House, formerly known as Otter, near Otter Ferry. For most of the 18th century the estates of Otter and Ormidale were owned by the same Campbell family, who retained Ormidale until the present century (1*).

The dial is of obelisk type and measures 2.8m in height, including a 0.23m ball-finial and a plinth 0.57m high. Both of the latter are probably of modern origin, although the plinth bears the initials M / IC / IC, presumably for the Revd Mr John Campbell of Otter, minister of Kilmodan from 1699 to 1723, who purchased Ormidale in 1728 (2). The monolithic shaft, which is 0.25m square with slightly chamfered angles, is divided into five panels with the usual series of sunken circles, hearts, saltires and geometrical patterns into most of which gnomons are fixed. One face of the third panel from the foot bears the initials MC above a gyronny rectangle, probably for Margaret Campbell, first wife of John Campbell and a member of the Ardkinglas family (3). On the panel below is the date 1719, and the added initials and date MNC / 1830, for Mungo Nutter Campbell of Ballimore (see No. 120). The faceted central block has recessed circles and triangles and many incised dials, while similar dials, now much worn, are incised on the obelisk. The ball-finial, which carries a metal wind-vane, is probably of modern origin, so that the original height of the sundial was a little more than 2m. A bronze plate attached to the plinth records its history.

RCAHMS 1992, visited June 1988


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