Last Updated:

25 Jun 2021

Sundial, Church of St Hilda, South Shields

South Shields, South Tyneside

54.996511, -1.437902

This is a


Founded in 


Current status is



Listed Grade II

Constructed in 1703, in the churchyard of St Hildas, close to the Market Place is this sundial. Inscribed on the south face of pedestal is "This was erected in ye year of our Lord 1703". The other faces are inscribed with later dates and names of the churchwardens took care of the area and its community.

Information from Sitelines

The first Ordnance Survey map is dated from 1862. Adjacent to the Market Place it clearly illustrates the churchyard, though does not illustrate the sundial in question. The town is actually relatively similar layout to the present day, apart from the old South Shields Low Station.

The second map, dated 1898, is a similar picture. The footpaths found in the churchyard are illustrated, as well as the copious industries that line the Tyne on its southern side. The scale and density of Shields even this early cannot be understated.

The 1921 Ordnance Survey again shows the churchyard and its decorative footpaths, but with no sundial. The contrasts worthy of note compared to yesteryear is the new landing stage for ferries to North Shields, as well as the council moving into their new Town Hall across the town. The Old Town Hall is now labelled.


Even with years of wear, the inscription is still very readable. Luckily the morning sun was shining which accentuates the script.


Another photograph taken in 2021 of the north face of the sundial. It features names of the various churchwardens who took on the role through the decades after its placement near the church.


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