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Latitude: 55.8709 / 55°52'15"N
Longitude: -4.2877 / 4°17'15"W
OS Eastings: 256952
OS Northings: 666556
OS Grid: NS569665
Mapcode National: GBR 0CH.X6
Mapcode Global: WH3P2.3PHP
Entry Name: University of Glasgow, Gilmorehill Campus, South Terrace, Lord Kelvin's Sundial
Listing Date: 1 December 2011
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 400792
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB51848
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: Hillhead
Traditional County: Lanarkshire
Possibly William Thomson, Baron Kelvin of Largs, or his father, James Thomson, mid-later 19th century. Sandstone terrestrial globe incorporating 4 slate sundials with zinc gnomen, mounted on circular pedestal; surmounting horizontal sundial. Pedestal inscribed 'Horas non numero nisi serenas' ('I only count the bright hours'); surmounting crown inscribed with astrological symbols and dates.
Lord Kelvin's Sundial is part of an A-Group with McMillan Reading Room, Gatepiers, Railings, Quincentenary Gates, Pearce Lodge, Hunter Memorial, John McIntyre Building, Thomson Building, James Watt Building and Gilbert Scott Buildings.
Also known as 'Kelvin's Globe' the sundial is of interest as an unusual type of freestanding sundial, possibly designed by the pioneering mathematician and physicist, William Thomson, Baron Kelvin of Largs (1824-1907). Thomson was Professor of Natural History at the University from 1846 until 1899. Amongst his many scientific achievements is the absolute scale of temperature, known as the Kelvin scale. He is buried beside Isaac Newton in Westminster Abbey.
Originally from Torridon House (later Drewsteignton School), Bearsden, the sundial was bequeathed by Miss MacOnie to the University of Glasgow in 1964 and erected in 1971 by the architect Ivor Dorward. Anecdotal evidence (see Lloyd, p.6) suggests that the sundial was designed by Lord Kelvin for his friend, the original owner of Torridon House.
Numerous sundials in Venice ('La Serenissima') bear the same motto.
Listed as part of review of the University of Glasgow Hillhead Campus, 2010-11.
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