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located in L.M. Montgomery Heritage Gardens in Norval Park




This sundial is a traditional sundial




About Time!

Analemmatic Sundial

By Diana Pooke -1997

One of the largest community projects to be undertaken to date by the people of Norval will be carried out this spring in the Lucy Maud Montgomery Heritage Garden. A Sundial Garden is being constructed in the eastern part of the garden, in the area behind the picket fence.

A Sundial to Remember Long-time resident, Joan Carter, has always wished that the village had a memorial acknowledging those residents that served their country in two World Wars. After much thought and discussion with family and friends, the concept of a sundial garden emerged.

Getting organized to this end, Joan Carter donated the proceeds from the sale of her book “A Short History of Norval,” to the Norval Community Association which started up a special “Sundial Account. A group comprised of Joan, members of her family, and a surprising number of interested sundial and gardening enthusiasts formed a creative and hardworking committee chaired by Bill Pooke. David and Ellen Carter were kind (or reckless) enough to host the sundial meetings at their home.

A couple of committee members had seen a fascinating, new and very different type of sundial at the Royal Botanical Gardens Hamilton. When approached regarding the origin of the sundial, the RBG were extremely helpful and referred the committee to the designer of the sundial, Dr. Paul Lapp MD, a semi-retired specialist at the McMaster Medical Centre in Hamilton. A confessed sundial fanatic, Dr. Paul Lapp immediately volunteered to help and arrived in Norval one day in January to address a crowed meeting. He brought with him slides, reference books, a computer program, “how-to” notes and formulas and yes, even a working model of Norval’s very own proposed analemmatic sundial!

A technical sub-committee was set up comprising of Tom Pettingill, Bill Pooke and Dave Soward. This committee determined the essential Longitude, Latitude and orientation as well as deciphering the complexities of the equation of time. It should be noted that it was Tom Pettingill who undertook the complicated mathematical reckoning necessary if the sundial Is to tell the correct time.

David Carter enrolled the help of Bob Wolf of Terra Cotta to procure the right stones and other material and direct construction. Bob (affectionately referred to as our stone man) located a magnificent single slab of stone that will form the focal point of the sundial.

Town Parks Director Bryan Shynal and Landscape Architect Gillian McColgan lent assistance with a plan for the sundial garden. The Town will begin excavation work on the project toward the end of April.

Forward in Time-No ordinary Sundial! Norval will be the proud possessor of only the fourth Analemmatic Sundial in Canada (the others being located in Calgary, Penticton and Hamilton) and tenth in North America.

A simpler and more understandable name for this sundial is Human or Interactive Sundial. When a person is standing in the correct position on a stone slab that is marked off in months of the year, their shadow will point toward a low wall containing a series of marker stones representing the hours of the day. As the sundial will be used mostly in summer, the hour stones are oriented to tell summer time. An enthusiastic technical committee has also decided that the sundial will tell real time as well as watch time. Apparently there is a difference and it’s nothing to do with hours leaping forward or falling back. This added feature makes this sundial absolutely unique. There is no other sundial anywhere (as far as we know) that contains this highly educational element!

Not only is this sundial technically unique, but it is going to be beautiful. The sundial will be set in a Thyme Garden-a patio-like area surrounded by beds planted with old roses, lavender and of course lots of thyme. There will be a rose arbor leading into the garden and some additional screening of the chain-link fence with vines to give a sense of privacy.

Dedication ceremony.  

When the sundial garden is completed by mid June it will be dedicated during a ceremony being held in conjunction with the annual Community Garden Party on Sunday June 22nd. Kathy Gastle is organizing an unveiling that should prove a memorable highlight of Norval’s year.

Dedication plaque

All good sundials have a saying on them. Our interactive sundial doesn’t lend itself to a traditional inscription around the dial, instead, the inscription will be part of the dedication plaque to be erected at the entrance to the garden. Joan Carter chose the inscription from an old book of traditional sundial sayings, and the dedication plaque will read a follows:                




In honour of Norval's men & women

who served Canada

in times of war

~Lest we forget~

Sundial Garden Dedicated June 22, 1997

Inspired and Supported by Joan Browne Carter

Built by the people of Norval


Analemmatic Sundial

Visit the Lucy Maud Montgomery Heritage Garden and learn about the Analemmatic Sundial. Only 10 exist in North America. This sundial was built by the citzens of Norval in 1997.
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