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Monaghan Sundial

The Monaghan Cross 'sundial' is located at Old Cross Square, Monaghan Town. Said to date from the 17th century, it has a polyhedral stone head made from a 530mm cube. It has four vertical square (diamond shaped) faces, eight sloping triangular faces and square top and bottom. All edges are 375mm. Each of the four square faces has a concave semi-spherical socket 250mm in diameter and 125mm in depth. 60mm beneath each cavity there is a roughly rectangular hole 35mm wide by 25mm high. Two of these are plugged with mortar, one is open,15mm deep, and the fourth is partially plugged with folded sheet lead
The granite pillar consists of a 560mm square by 470mm high plinth with a 1730mm high column, 440mm at the base and tapering to 340mm at the top. It has stopped chamfered edges and rises from the top of six stone steps. The overall height of steps, pillar and head is approx. 3.6 metres high. One side of the column has a 40mm wide vertical groove for its full height, the top 250mm has the remnants of sheet lead plug material. An adjacent side has two parallel groves approx. 225mm long by 35m wide 75mm from the top and edges of the pillar. Both are filled with mortar.

Originally located in the Diamond, it was used as a hiring cross and for displaying proclamations. It was removed to make way for a memorial to the 4th Baron Rossmore who died after a hunting accident at Windsor Castle in 1874. It was left in a yard until public opinion forced the authorities to re-erect it. It was relocated to its present location in 2010.

As to how you would tell the time.... that's a good question...

The photo below right is of a fragment of an ancient sundial found during excavations in Greece in 2012. The similarity to the Monaghan dial, below left, is striking - except that the Monaghan gnomon (the metal shadow caster) is missing but the lead plug that would have held it in place remains and there are no engraved hour lines but these may have been painted.

Lat 54° 14' North     Long 7° 01' West

Irish Grid   H  263800     331700

If you know the location of a sundial in Ireland (NOT a mass produced DIY Store garden ornament) please email it to me (Click here to email M.J.Harley) - a member of British Sundial Society
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