Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see ‘About Listed Buildings’ below for more information.


Status: Designated


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Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
Port Of Menteith
National Park
Loch Lomond And The Trossachs
NS 52088 97164
252088, 697164


Loch Lomond And Trossachs National Park Planning Authority

Complete 17th century sandstone obelisk sundial. Obelisk sundials are unique to Scotland and the Gartmore sundial is one of only 25 complete obelisk dials to survive in Scotland (Somerville 1994, 234, 237). The Gartmore sundial has some peculiarities that make it unique and it is of national importance as a complete example of a distinctive style of 17th century sundial design. It forms the centre-piece of the Cayzer Family Private Cemetery behind Gartmore Church. It was originally located in the forecourt of Gartmore House, and was moved to its present position in the early 1960s.

Approximately 8 feet high. Set on a square plinth set with an octagonal stone base, the sundial has a square shaft with four panels and octagonal collar. Uniquely all 8 faces of the collar have bowl-shaped sinkings. The pointed boss (polyhedron) has corner cup-hollows and dials on the upper and lower surfaces. The tapering finial has five panels and a pineapple finial at the top. Each panel contains a sunken geometrical pattern, some with metal gnomons - it has 56 dials in total. There is no inscription or date.

Statement of Special Interest

There are a number of peculiarities that distinguish the Gartmore sundial from other obelisk dials (Stevenson 1937, 265; Dr Ken Mackay 2004):

1. No other obelisk dials have an octagonal collar. It appears that the polyhedron and collar were cut from one piece of stone, so it is not an alien element.

2. The polyhedron differs from the standard type, but closely resembles those at Cardross and Drumquhassle. Four hemispherical hollows, each in a pentagonal frame, face N, S, E & W respectively. Between each of these dial faces two hexagons are set, one sloping up and the other sloping down.

3. The patterns on the shaft differ markedly from those of the standard type, which usually depict hearts, saltires, etc. Some present a partial resemblance to patterns on shafts at Drummond Castle and Invermay. Like them, the Gartmore pillar is divided into 4 panels, not 5.

The Gartmore Sundial is not mentioned in MacGibbon & Ross's Castellated and Domestic Architecture of Scotland (1892). Originally located in the forecourt of Gartmore House, when the Cayzer family sold the house in the late 1940s they took the sundial with them to England. However, it was returned to Gartmore in the early 1960s and situated in its present position.

The obelisk type of sundial is unique to Scotland and their origin is a matter for speculation. While the earliest multiple dials to be found in England exhibit German or French influences, the Scottish mind for mathematics and science took the multiple dial in a way which is found nowhere else. Masterpieces of the dial maker's art and a highly distinctive product of Scottish craftsmanship, they show a remarkable passion for dialling in all its most complex mathematical forms (Daniel 2004, 34). Scotland has a rich heritage of 17th and 18th century sundials and the great variety of sundial forms shows that the dialmakers had scientific, artistic and practical aims (Stevenson 1937, 227). There are a number of reasons for their appearance in Scotland at this time: Firstly, interest in science and mathematics was increasing. A key figure was John Napier of Merchiston (1550-1617), who, whilst living at nearby Gartness, experimented in alchemy, mechanics and mathematics. His work on logarithms culminated in the publication two years after his death of 'Mirifici Logarithmorum Canonis Constructio'. Secondly, Calvinist philosophy at this time frowned on decoration for its own sake and required function as well; and finally, during this period mansion houses with pleasure gardens were being established, of which sundials formed centre-pieces.



British Sundial Society, The Sundial Register 2000; Daniel, Christopher St J H, Sundials 2nd edition (Shire Publications, 2004); Duggan, E. R. 'Restoration of a Sundial' in Clan Line House Magazine (August, 1964); Gifford, John & Walker, Frank A, The Buildings of Scotland: Stirling & Central Scotland (New Haven & London, 2002), 518; MacGibbon & Ross, The Castellated and Domestic Architecture of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1892) 5:407; Somerville, Andrew R, The Ancient Sundials of Scotland (London, 1994); Stevenson, W B, 'Sundials of Six Scottish Counties, Near Glasgow' in Transactions of the Glasgow Archaeological Society, 9 (1937): 227-286; The Church in Gartmore: The First Two Hundred Years (Stirling, 1995). Additional information courtesy of Dr Ken Mackay and Gartmore Heritage Society (2004).

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the 1997 Act. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


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Printed: 21/05/2019 13:48