Abbotsgrange Sundial (N9)

Illus: Measured drawing of the Abbotsgrange Sundial.


In June 1925 John Williamson gifted two stones which had been removed from the Orchard in Zetland Park, along with a sundial, to Grangemouth Town Council.  The three elements were then united using metal rods to form a freestanding sundial which was erected on a low concrete plinth in the Orchard.  A few years later an iron railing was put around the plinth to protect the sundial from damage and to lower the risk of people being hurt should it collapse.

The lowest stone is a column base with two toruses; above this a rectangular block bearing the raised inscription “EK/ VB” and with an ansate panel bearing the date 1618; this is surmounted by a respond capital carrying a bronze dial-plate.  The face of the central stone measures 1ft 4in by 11in and had originally evidently been set in masonry.  The initials are those of Elizabeth, daughter of Sir William Ker of Cessford and wife of Sir James Bellenden of Auchenoull, who owned the lands of Abbotsgrange from 1611 to 1630, and of her son William Bellenden.  The upper stone is a decorated respond-capital with a combination of fleshy waterleaf and stiff leaf foliage, which is probably a 19th-century essay in 13th century style made to house the sundial which is of 18th-century design.

Illus: The Abbotsgrange Sundial in the Cage in Lumley Street.


The sundial was subjected to vandalism in Zetland Park in 1988 – the stones being thrown into the Grange Burn.  From 1988 until 2002 the individual stones of the sundial were stored in Falkirk Museum.  At the latter date they were repaired and placed on display in a cage at the north end of Lumley Street by the Community Services Department of Falkirk Council as part of the townscape enhancement.  Just over ten years later the town centre was remodelled and the sundial returned to the museum store where it still stands.

Falkirk Museum 1988-19-1

Sites & Monuments Records

Abbots Grange Sundial            SMR 1377       NS 9271 8207

G.B. Bailey, 2021