Unearthing the truth behind wrong date on sundial
49 High Street Old Amersham HP7 0DP 01494 723700
Take, for example, the sundial that is displayed on 19 Whielden Street which proudly bears the date 1372.
Until recently, the premises housed an antique shop and before that it was Welch’s butcher shop.
However, the house is not as old as the date on the sundial suggests – it probably dates back to the late 16th century.
Why does the sundial carry that date?
One story is that the timepiece was dug up in the garden. But a far more likely reason for the ancient date is that the builder restoring the house made a mistake – he meant to inscribe the dial with 1732, but simply got the numbers the wrong way round.
When asked to change it, he is reported to have said: ’Leave it as it is, it looks better!’
If you would like to know more about Amersham’s history, visit the website at www.amershammuseum. org.
ANTHONY DEL TUFO, MUSEUM VOLUNTEER
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