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North Mymms 'mass dial'

North Mymms parish church

A religious sundial, dating back to 1584, has been located on the wall of St Mary's Parish Church, North Mymms, following information unearthed by the local history society. (Click on images to reveal full-size version. Note: They will be slow to download)

John Harris, of the North Mymms Local History Society, found the references to a 'Mass Dial' at North Mymms in two old books about local churches during research on another issue for this site.

According to John, the book describes it as; "a form of sundial, used to set the time of services by checking the points of a shadow made by the sun crossing a central rod which then followed lines etched on the stonework of the church wall; the hour for mass was marked by a deeper groove."

John said another book dated the 'mass dial' as 1584, and said it was located on the south side of the St Mary's Church.

Close up of the mass dial North Mymms parish church After an examination of the exterior of the church the dial was found carved in a corner stone on the south wall.

Unfortunately the dial has been damaged over the years and the central rod is missing, but the date, 1584, can be clearly identified (although not so clear in these photographs) and the deep grooves indicating mass times can be seen.

All pictures were taken using a Fujifilm FinePix 4900Zoom digital camera courtesy of Fujifilm. All have been heavily compressed to help download. Click on the images to reveal full-size version which will be slow to download.


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