After our last meeting we were approached by the Mission Hall's neighbours who had found the stone fragment shown above in their back garden. It's clearly part of the face of a sundial, with the date nicely complete. The rusted stub of its gnomon is also visible. Where could it have come from? It was found in the garden of a house built in the 1930s - and there was no building on the site before that date. The Mission Hall itself is close to the site of fine old thatched cottage that was demolished in the 1970s, when the modern bungalows in Grafton Road were built. That cottage was said by the RCHMS to have had a date stone (1775) which has disappeared along with the rest of the building - but there is no mention of a sundial. Still, it's possible the sundial was part of the demolished cottage. It could, of course, have been brought from anywhere, but why? And from where? The answer is lost in the mists of time ...
There are, though, other sundials in Yetholm, which most people are probably not aware of. The first one shown below is in the kirk and is currently stored in the upper room of the church with the Romanesque fragments - hopefully all of these stones will be properly displayed in the kirk as part of the YHS Heritage Centre project. It is very worn but, again, the slots of two gnomons are clearly visible. It must have been part of the church building which was demolished in the 1830s. There is no date on it - perhaps 17th or 18th century? The other sundial is more mysterious. It has been placed on the gable of the old Cross Keys in Kirk Yetholm. That can't have been its original site as it unreadable up there - the photo had to be taken using a telephoto lens! It has, though, been in that position for over a hundred years - it is clearly visible in several postcard views taken in the late 19th century. Where could it have come from? And who went to all that effort to put it up there?
A wealth of information about Scottish sundials can be found HERE.