Carpe Diem

Carpe Diem — MDCCXVII © 2011 Mufidah Kassalias

Long after the Roman Empire had died, along with all talk of seizing the day, a large Portland stone building was constructed in Lewes between 1808-1812. As the County Hall it needed to appear authoritative, and the combination of size and classical design resulted in an imposing building for a market town with a population of less than 5,000. It appears the sundial predates the building itself as it has the year 1717 painted in Roman numerals.

I took this photograph a couple of summers ago when I was in a phase of getting up very early to walk around town on photographic missions — a definite case of seizing the morning! It was around 6.00am and, as the building is south-facing, the sun was rising to its right, hence the light catching the protruding arm of the sundial and the wooden carving on the left slope of the roof.

7 responses

  1. that is a very interesting story of the sundial. Is it still working ? I couldnt figure out and the numbers (1-12) are in a weird order.
    the blue pervades even beyond the sky (because of the early morning conditions) and has a very fresh looking cast on everything !

    • I assume it works, that is for those who know how to read a sundial — they never make any sense to me. The numbers confused me also until I realised they start in the bottom right and go anti-clockwise, but of course that in itself is still confusing!

  2. It amazes me that the sundial is so old. To my eye it looks more modern. And I laugh seeing things like this, as I’m just thrilled to live next to 100 year old things, but I know (and I had this thought when I traveled in Europe the first time years ago) that Europe has dust on churches older than the oldest building in the US. :) Great image, Mufidah!