Object Type: Architectural feature (sundial)
Measurements: Diameter 43 cm (17 in); D. 5.1 cm (2 in)
Stone: Fine-grained, pinkish-grey (7.5YR 7/2) sandstone; probably deltaic channel sandstone, Saltwick Forma
Plate numbers in printed volume: 418
Corpus volume reference: Vol 3 p. 123
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The circular sundial is part of a large rectangular block of stone (Taylor and Taylor 1965,
Inscription The inscription round the sundial is set in the strip between two clearly visible concentric incised circles roughly 2.3 cm apart. The letters are between 1.8 and 2.3 cm high. The inscription, which is in capitals, is in Old English. It reads:
This can be edited as follows:
+ VLF HET ARŒRAN CYRIC[E]FOR [HA]NVM7 FOR GVNǷARA SAVLA
(Translation: + ‘Ulf ordered the church to be built for himself and for Gunwaru’s soul.’)
The inscription opens with a cross. Some letters have distinct serifs. Most are slightly clumsy versions of Roman capitals. A has a bar across the top and no cross-bar. C, G, and O are round, and E is square. N is of the form in which the diagonal touches the verticals short of the ends. Both open and closed R are used. S is angular. Wynn is used in the second name. The Tironian sign for and or ond appears. There are no punctuation marks or word-dividing points.
This is the only circular sundial in the region. As there is no decorative carving, its dating must rely upon the inscription.
Inscription The placing of the inscription round the circumference of the dial is also found on the dial at Orpington, Kent (Okasha 1971, pl. 99). Ulf is evidently the name of the patron, Gunwaru probably that of his wife. There is no information about the dedication of the church. The language is Old English, but not classical Old English, as the irregular endings of cirice and saula show. The personal names Vlf and Gunwara (genitive) are Norse but with signs of Anglicization in their inflexions. The pronoun hanum seems to be the dative singular of the Old Norse third person pronoun, but is used here reflexively, contrary to Old Norse practice (Page 1971, 178–9). Ulf may perhaps have been the man mentioned in Domesday Book as owning the land in the time of King Edward the Confessor (Okasha 1971, 47, 154; Page 1971, 179).
The letter forms would not contradict the date in the eleventh century suggested by the language and names.
Brooke 1782; Pegge 1785; Pegge 1787, 21–2, fig.; Camden 1806,