National Recording Project


Detail from: Memorial to 158 Squadron by Peter W. Naylor, 2009

2 Sundials (Tompion)


Type Other

     2 bronze sundial plates with gnomons. Dial 1: plain design inscribed with the months; Dial 2: elaborate decorative framework of curling leaves inscribed with the hours Mounted on marble circular and octagonal plinths decorated with oval relief panels bearing the William monogram (RWE) and acanthus leaves. Plinths set into plain square black marble bases.
     Bronze plates made by Tompion, marble plinths by Van Nost. Dial 1 moved into central position in 1832 when its partner removed to Kew Palace by William IV. Latter returned to Hampton Court and both installed in original positions after restoration of the Privy Gardens in 1995. Originally, both sundials were companion instruments to two of Tompion's equation clocks and were used to regulate other clocks.


Dial 2 (original for Kew Gardens Dial): Tho: Tompion, London. "Set the Watch so much faster or slower than the time by the Sun according to the Table for the Day of the Month when you set it, and if the Watch go true, the difference of it from the Sun and Day afterwards will be the same with Table"

Related works : Cast replica of Tompion Dial 2 original and Van Nost plinth in Kew Gardens (RH38)

Contributor details

Contributor Role
Tompion, Thomas Other
Van Nost, None Sculptor

Element details

Part of work Material Dimensions
2 plates and pin bronze 39 cms (h) x 52 cms (diameter)
2 plinths marble (white) 110 cms (h) x 45 cms (diameter)
2 bases marble (black) 14 cms (h) x 45 cms (w) x 45 cms (d)

PMSA recording information

Reference Region
General condition Good
Surface condition
  • Corrosion, Deterioration
  • Metallic staining
  • Previous treatments
Structural condition
  • Broken, missing parts
  • None
Road Hampton Court Road
Precise location Privy Garden, South Front, Hampton Court Palace
A-Z ref p.20, A1
OS ref None

Sorry, we have no precise geographical information for this item.

Date of design None
Year of unveiling 1701/2
Unveiling details None
Commissioned by None
Duty of care Royal Collections
Listing status Don't know
At risk? No known risk

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