Kerse House Sundial (F11)

The horizontal sundial stood in front of the great gate to the walled garden c250m west of Kerse House.  It bore the coat-of-arms of Thomas Hope and his wife in a recessed panel on a plain cube surmounting an ionic column.  In 1638 William Livingston of Kilsyth sold Kerse to Thomas Hope of Wester Granton.  Lord Thomas Hope had led a successful career in the legal profession and was very active in the affairs of state; from 1641 to 1643 he was Justiciar General of Scotland.

Thomas Hope set about modernising the old tower house with a new mansion which was constructed in 1642 and at the same time a freestanding sundial, recorded by Fleming, was placed in the garden.  The coat-of-arms on the sundial represent Sir Thomas Hope: a chevron between three bezants, impaled with those of his wife, three bucks’ heads.  She was Helen Rae, daughter of Alan Rae of Pitsendie.  It would not be unusual for a new owner to undertake new building work and to commemorate it in this fashion.

It is not known what happened to the sundial.

Kerse House Sundial   SMR 1423       NS 915 816

G.B. Bailey, 2021