The Dial of Flowers Antique Garden Sundial


Contact Dealer To Purchase

Object Description

This large antique garden sundial once resided in the grounds of Fort Belvedere, a Grade II listed country house in Surrey, built in the 1750s. Pictured is a black and white photograph of the front of Fort Belvedere circa early-mid 19th century showing what we believe to be this sundial in the centre of the driveway.

Fort Belvedere was the residence of various members of the British royal family during the late 18th to mid 20th centuries. Perhaps the most notable was King Edward VIII, who signed his abdication at Fort Belvedere in 1936, passing the throne to his brother, George VI, and subsequently Queen Elizabeth II. This spectacular antique garden sundial dates from the 1830s, around the time when Fort Belvedere was undergoing significant renovations in a gothic revival style. To this day, Fort Belvedere remains a part of the British Crown Estate and resides within the grounds of Windsor Great Park.

Part garden ornament, part sundial, the design is thought to be based on a ‘flower clock’ developed by Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778), a Swedish botanist who created a system for naming plants and animals that is still used until this very day. Like a sundial indicates the time using the sun, Linnaeus’s flower clock suggests that particular plants opening and closing their flowers at particular times of the day can be used to accurately indicate the time.
Resembling the shape of a pocket watch, this antique garden sundial sits on a carved limestone base and features a lead insert on both sides above the markings AM and PM. Though weathered through time by the elements, inscriptions of names of flowers and botanical plants remain present, projecting outwards and clockwise in the shape of a clock.

Provenance: Once located in the grounds of Fort Belvedere, Surrey.

Image source: ‘Fort Belvedere’ via Scene Therapy (

Object History

Once located in the grounds of Fort Belvedere, Surrey.

Object Condition

Good structural condition. Weathered surface and small losses. Wear consistent with age and use. Minor Losses, scuffs, and scratches.

Object Details

  • Style
  • dimensions
    W:78 x H:113 x D:34 centimeters
  • country
  • year

Dealer Opening Times

By appointment only.

Dealer Contact

+44(0) 1981 541 155

Dealer Location


From the M50 / Ross-on-Wye
At the end of the M50 take the A40 towards Ross-on-Wye and Monmouth. Take the A49 Hereford Road (third roundabout after leaving the M50) Ignore the first two signposts for Wormelow, Stay on the A49 for approximately nine miles take the next left turn after passing the Pilgrim Hotel, singed A466 Wormelow. Follow the road for approximately 400 meters. We are located on the right hand side, the site is called; Grove Farm / The Grove.

From A49 Hereford
Follow the A49 south from Hereford for approximately five miles. After the uphill section at the Callow there is a layby on your right followed by one on your left. Take the next right turn onto the A466 singed Wormelow / Monmouth, Follow the road for approximately 400 meters. We are located on the right hand side on Grove Farm / The Grove.

UK Heritage
Grove Barn
United Kingdom

View Map