Bo’ness Main Street Sundial (W2)

A vertical sundial from a demolished building on the south side of Main Street was re-erected in 1937 into the south wall of a new block of municipal houses adjacent to Commissioner Street at first floor level.  The face is square with an offset arched top and is inscribed “R.S./ MG” with the date “1741” (Linlithgow Gazette 17 September 1937, 4).  It may have been at this time that a copper alloy plate and gnomon was riveted onto the front of the dial face.

Illus 15: The Main Street sundial can just be made out in its orginal location at the bottom of the ornate chimney breast of this 18th century building. The rolled skewputs and cavetto moulded eaves course show that this was a house of some distrinction. The ground floor was remodelled in the early 19th century.

The Bo’ness Journal of 23 January 1948 printed an old poem about the town which suggests that such dials were once more common:

“I mind the gables frontin; taa the street
When freshly roughcast, aye looked clean and neat,
An here and there throughout the queer auld toon,
A sundial frae some keystone lookit doon.”
Main Street SundialSMR 2226NT 0005 8167

G.B. Bailey, 2021