Sundial-mania swept Scotland in the 17th century. They were seen as symbolic works of art that reminded people of the brevity of life, and also demonstrated a growing fascination with science.

The Great Garden at Pitmedden has a number of sundials, the most prominent of which lies centrally in the Tempus fugit parterre. Believed to have been made around 1675, this polyhedral sundial features 24 facets and is believed to also be a moon-dial as it is capable of telling the time on strong moonlit nights as well as during sunny days. It has featured in several publications over the years.

There are three sundials on the corner of the Thunderhouse Pavilion. All of these vertical dials are carved directly on to the cornerstones (quoins) of the building. One is a single-face, west-facing dial; the others are two-face dials, one directly south-facing and the other east-facing. All feature restored gnomons (the part that casts the shadow) and Arabic numerals.

A simplistic sundial can be found in the area near the herb garden, under which some thyme has been planted in a nod to the never-ending theme of time!

The human sundial is our sixth dial and is a visitor favourite, located in the upper garden between the lupin and pear border and the pleached limes. On a sunny day, if you stand with your feet lined up to the month (written in Doric dialect) on the large central stone, the shadow cast by your head will land on one of the numbers along the periphery, giving you the time to a surprisingly accurate degree!

Pitmedden Garden is full of original artworks and interesting building architecture, and has even more to offer with contemporary art exhibitions, held both outdoors and indoors.

Since 2011 we have been the proud exhibitors of John Maine’s beautiful modern sculptures within the walled garden. John Maine RA is a highly acclaimed sculptor who is best known for making large outdoor stone sculptures that form relationships with, and are inspired by, the surrounding landscape. John’s extensive travels have informed his sculpture practice and he has created monumental installations all over the world, some of which are now displayed at Pitmedden Garden.

For over two decades, our annual Art Exhibition has taken place in the stables of the Museum of Farming Life. Over the years we have supported many local talented artists showcasing their work, which has resulted in a wonderful array of different art forms and styles being exhibited. Take a look at our latest exhibition during your next visit and see our local talent for yourself!