Sundial out of time for the summer!

Sundial on the exterior front of The Halifax Minster
Sundial on the exterior front of The Halifax Minster

On Sunday 25th March (The first day of British summer time), it was interesting to view the time of the clock on the tower of Halifax Minster and on the sundial close to the entrance porch.

The time on the Minster clock was showing all most 2:0 pm where as the sundial was showing close to 1:0 pm.

Since the introduction of British summer time in 1916 there has always been a discrepancy between the time shown on the Minster clock and the sundial during the summer months.

The sundial records daylight hours between 6:0 am and 6:0 pm and is marked in Roman numerals. The time on the dial reads from left to right as the shadow from the pointer follows the track of the sun across the face of the sundial.

The time on the dial is easy to read on a sunny day, but must have been extremely difficult on a cloudy day.

There is a date of 1808 on the sundial recording the name of the benefactor.

British summer time was first established by the summer time act of 1916.

“Day light saving time” was introduced during world war one and the measure proved successful in reducing the demand for coal.

I hope that the information and photos will be of interest to the Courier readers.

The photos and information were obtained during the course of a superb one and a half hour tour of the Minster led by Dr. John Hargreaves.

Halifax is fortunate to have such a fantastic church that has survived the passage of time for 900 years.

Brian Howcroft

Brockwell Gardens

Sowerby Bridge