Shining a light on sundial hero William Watson

York Press: Stephen Holehan with his new sundial Stephen Holehan with his new sundial

A SUNDIAL has been unveiled in Pocklington in tribute to the work of 19th century local astronomer, surveyor and sundial maker William Watson.

The device, made by professional sundial maker Stephen Holehan, of Sherburn-in-Elmet, has been placed in George Street.

A detailed information board about Watson’s legacy has also been installed. The tribute has been organised by Pocklington and District Local History Group, in conjunction with the town council.

The group’s spokesman, Phil Gilbank, said it had wanted to give Watson the recognition he deserved.

“William Watson was an East Yorkshire farmer who became a remarkable, self-taught land surveyor, mapmaker, astronomer, sundial maker and poet in the first half of the 19th century,” he said.

“He spent much of his life at Seaton Ross, the village where he was born and where the farmhouse he lived in has one of his giant sundials on the front, and spent his later years in Pocklington, where he created a number of sundials and drew three maps of the town.”

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