Timepiece thieves target historic sundial

First published: 30-09-2009

Usually, when the theft of a costly timepiece is noted in the news, it tends to be a watch that's been taken, given how desirable certain models can be.

However, presumably knowledgeable thieves in Cumbria have taken a valuable sundial worth upwards of £50,000 from the Dalemain estate in Penrith, a historic country home known for a number of its valuables.

The sundial, which was produced in 1688 and fixed to a stone column in the gardens of the estate, is believed to have been taken between September 6th and 8th, with enough skill to remove it without damaging the metal timepiece.

However, there seems to be a twist in the tale, with police this week revealing to the public that the walls of Levens Hall were scaled with ladders by thieves - who have been connected to the aforementioned crime - making off with a Thomas Tompion antique table clock worth £200,000.

Police are urging the public to come forward before any other valuable items are taken; after all, a watch could be next on the list.

One group undoubtedly irked by the development will be the British Sundial Society, an organisation which aims to advance the education of gnomonics, founded in 1989.


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