Howkerse Sundial (F9)

A sundial stands within the garden of the house of Howkerse, a little to the north of Skinflats. It has a columnar shaft set within the socket of an old mill-stone, which now serves as a base. The shaft supports a cubical dial-head on a moulded capital with acanthus leaves at each corner and this in turn is surmounted by a ball finial. The north face contains a shield with scroll cresting similar to that on the mercat cross at Airth. The sides of the shield are set in leafy foliage and in the centre is a lion rampant. Below the shield are the incised initials J C and J A. Neither the achievement nor the initials suggest any of the families occupying Howkerse or Newton and it is consequently possible that the sundial may have been brought from slightly further away. It may well have come from Westerton on the road to Carronshore where John Callendar was in occupation in 1707.

Although the Callendar coat-of-arms carried the usual billets, the supporters shown in the family grave are lions (Bailey 2004, 8). The south face of the dial bears the incised date 1699. Here the gnomon is vertical and the radial lines symmetrically arranged. Above the gnomon is a lightly incised figure of the sun. The west and east faces also bear sundials.

Illus: The south face with the date 1699.

Illus: The north face with the lion rampant.

Howkerse Sundial SMR 2225 NS 9076 8378

G.B. Bailey, 2021