Australian Garden History Society
Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

ACT Monaro Riverina Branch: Telling the Time by the Sun

18 March 2022 @ 1:30 pm - 5:00 pm AEDT

Armillary Sphere, ANBG,  Photo Nancy Clarke.


This is a self-drive event.

We are absolutely delighted that the Sundials afternoon foreshadowed in the December Newsletter will go ahead on Friday 18th March.

This twice-deferred event has been much anticipated and our collaboration with the Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens promises to provide us with a truly excellent afternoon when our presenter, Adelaide based Dr Margaret Folkard, physicist and sundial designer and maker extraordinaire, will speak about the history and science of sundials, as well as the exacting art of creating them.

She will focus in particular on two Canberra sundials, both designed by Sundials Australia (Marg and John Ward) – the armillary sphere in the Australian National Botanic Gardens (a gift to the Gardens from its Friends 20 years ago) and the analemmatic or human sundial at Mt Stromlo.

Before clocks were invented, sundials were used in public places and in the grounds of significant buildings to mark the hours of the day. By the 19th century sundials had become largely ornamental, and today many gardens large and small feature a sundial. Sundials designed and made by Sundials Australia are installed in public and private gardens in Australia and beyond, including in many Australian botanic gardens – among them Sydney, Mt Annan, Mt Tomah and Port Augusta. Each is unique and specific to its location.

The Sundials afternoon will start in the theatrette of the ANBG. After this, we will walk (a ten-to-fifteen-minute walk) to the sundial near the rockery in the ANBG.  Flora Explorer, the ANBG mini-van will be available for participants with limited mobility. The Botanic Gardens also has two electric scooters that may be hired – ring 6250 9453.

After afternoon tea we will drive in our own cars to the sundial at Mt Stromlo Observatory, so we can tell the time by our own shadows in the late afternoon light.


Venue: We start in the Theatrette, Australian National Botanic Gardens (opposite the Visitor Centre), and finish at Mt Stromlo Observatory.

Time: The talk will start in the Theatrette at 1.30 pm. We have a very full afternoon so please arrive in good time to help us keep to time. We anticipate that our visit to Mt Stromlo Observatory.

Cost: $25 including afternoon tea. Plus 50 cents ticket fee.

Bookings: Bookings are essential.  Book through Trybooking.


18 March 2022
1:30 pm - 5:00 pm AEDT
Event Category: