We are delighted to announce that the Didsbury Parsonage Trust has received a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £9,100 to restore a rare window at the Parsonage.
The room in the Old Parsonage which Fletcher Moss called his library had a stained glass sundial window designed by Fletcher Moss himself. Although the window was removed sometime after 1904, there are photographs of the window in the books he wrote (pictured above).
Stained glass sundial windows, where the shadow cast by the sun indicates the time on a stained glass clock face, are very rare. There are about 40 in the whole of the UK and many no longer work because they have been moved. Few are as elaborate as the one that Fletcher Moss produced.
We have been working with John Carmichael, a dialist and designer of stained glass sundials, based in the USA, and three members of the British Sundial Society, to redesign the window. This expertise has been provided free of charge and the design is pictured below.
There is huge educational value in the window, as it teaches people about how a sundial works, and how the adjustment for sun phase changes are made according to where in the world you are. It is also important to explain how sundials were used to tell the time. There were ‘mass dials’ on churches for ringing bells to bring people to church, and most old houses had one to check their clocks.
The restoration of the window provides an opportunity to learn about the role of sundials in society, and there will be an online video link so you can share the experience wherever you are!
Steve Parle, Chair of the Didsbury Parsonage Trust:
"We are thrilled to have received this support thanks to National Lottery players, and are confident the project will encourage more people to visit this heritage landmark and raise awareness of the value of social history."