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St George's Day, William Shakespeare, Sun and Sundials

William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He died on 23 April 1616.

William Shakespeare is quintessentially English who is also universally known. As is the case with St George, the Patron Saint of England, who's memory we celebrate annually. 

Shakespeare wrote:

SunDial BaseCarve out dials, quaintly, point by point
Thereby to set the minutes, how they run,
How many make the Hour full, complete,
How many hours bring about the Day.
        King Henry VI. Pt. III. Act II. Sc. 5.

In the last few days we've been blessed by glorious uninterrupted sunny weather and I was looking for an appropriate short story to link these events and Formby together.

This incomplete sundial is in the grounds of St Peter's Church in Freshfield.

It's one of a number of historic items and places registered on the Historic British Listed Buildings list, which is an online database of buildings and structures that are listed as being of special architectural and historic interest.

The details recorded on the list describe it as follows:

FORMBY GREEN LANE (east side)
2/39 Sundial approx. 5.5 m. south of Church of St. Peter G.V. II

Sundial. Probably C18. Stone. Tuscan column with square abacus on cyma moulding. Metal plate; gnomon missing.

(Source: http://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/)

And the Gnomon that's missing well that's the part that normally casts a shadow on the dial showing an approximation of the time, they look like this image below, which explains the way they work.

Sundial Gnomon
ASundial Columns a resident of Formby since 1972 I've lost count of the number of times I've passed this column when walking into Formby Village from my house.

I've never noticed it before, which I suppose just illustrates how often I walk or cycle around with my eyes closed to the details of our rich environment.

This is the stone column to look out for.

There's also a very interesting building opposite St Peter's Church, which is not recorded on the British Historic Buildings list.

I think this is a surprising omission. It's an old building and looking at old maps suggests it was a 'Public House'.

Two places serving the 'Spirit' side by side.