Max Nicholson

Memorial sundials

Two memorial sundials have been put in place in memory of Max - one by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust at the London Wetlands Centre in Barnes in south-west London and one by Sedbergh School in Cumbria. The sundials were designed by his son Piers Nicholson.

Max Nicholson memorial sundial at the London Wetlands Centre

The hour lines have Arabic numerals for summer time and Roman for winter time; between the hour lines are short ten-minute lines and five-minute spots. This picture was taken at 17 minutes to 1 in November 2004, a few days after the sundial was put in place.
The mirror-polished stainless steel gives strong reflections, and the gnomon, which casts the shadow, appears to "float in air" because the matt circle appears to be continuous though part of it is in fact a reflection. For about 5 minutes at solar noon, when the sun is at its highest in the sky, a line of light shines through the slit in the gnomon. This design feature is used to orient the sundial exactly to true North so that it can be read to the narest minute or two
The sundial is located outside the Peacock Tower, a 3-storey hide which overlooks the old reservoirs beside the River Thames at Barnes in west London. The tower is seen below with the buildings on the north side of the river in the background.

Max Nicholson memorial sundial at Sedbergh School, Cumbria

Technical note:
For more details on the design of these innovative Spot-On Sundials, please follow this link