Posted by: christinelaennec | July 27, 2011

Town House Accessories

No, this is not an advert for second-hand Lego or Playmobil.  I just wanted to show you a few of the features of Aberdeen’s beautiful Town House, which was finished in 1873.  These accessories are things that are of benefit to all citizens, it seems to me.

Firstly, there’s a sundial:

Clock and sundial on Aberdeen's Town House. Photo taken at 3 pm (!) 15 July 2011.

I really don’t know how useful a sundial is in Aberdeen, given that the amount of (potential) sunlight we have varies from 6 hours in December to about 19 hours in June.  However, the sundial was more accurate than the clock above it!  Perhaps most useful is the motto on the sundial:

Sundial on Aberdeen Town House.

If my Latin serves me, the sundial is telling us that our lives are all fleeing towards the shadows.  (Something that you might not need to be reminded of as you wait for the bus across the street.)  Another useful accoutrement on the Town House is at ground level, just around the side:

Barometer on the side of Aberdeen Town House. Photo taken at 12:12 p.m., on a day in June 2011.

The clock on the barometer was bang on time.  However, I’ve noticed that the barometer itself seems perpetually stuck on “Change”.  I haven’t yet determined whether this is an unvaryingly accurate reading, or whether it’s broken.  It could be either!



  1. the building is beautiful. i had a look at the website and it details all the work that was done. it was very extensive and done by professionals. i’m assuming that is granite it’s made from which is so clean and orderly looking.

    • ajb, you are very dedicated! In fact, you’ve found information about the Old Aberdeen townhouse, which was restored by the University of Aberdeen. It’s much smaller than the Aberdeen Town House, and dates from the time centuries ago when the two (Aberdeen and Old Aberdeen) were separately governed. When you come to visit, you can see both! 🙂

      • ah Christine, i was barking up the wrong tree. thanks for being so gracious about it. and indeed, some day when i come to visit, i must definitely see both. 🙂

  2. I love the sundial, I’m not sure about the barometer, must be it’s colour…lovely building
    Erna x

  3. it’s so cool to notice those little details around you….not sure I’ve seen public sundials in our area. I’m on the look out for them.

    • I wonder how many other sundials are around Aberdeen? I should keep a lookout too. One of my favy games to pass the time if I have to wait somewhere familiar (such as the bus stop) is to try to notice something I’ve never noticed before. I’ve rarely failed to see something new!

  4. Change is correct! We have lived in the North East for almost ten years – its change.
    I love the way you look at things many take for granted.

    • Hi Jill! Welcome and thank you. I enjoyed my visit to your blog – love your rainbow header!

  5. Oh, I have granite envy! Such a lovely building and to think that the builders would even include such things……I love the sundial and the fact that you can read the wonderful inscription! Such a beautiful city. Thank you for sharing that. xx Karen

    • I have definitely developed an appreciation of granite over my years in Aberdeen, and I love all the little details of the city. Glad you’re enjoying them too!

  6. “If my Latin serves me, the sundial is telling us that our lives are all fleeing towards the shadows. (Something that you might not need to be reminded of as you wait for the bus across the street.)” … Heehee. Indeed! 🙂
    What lovely and interesting features to these buildings. I love the idea of the sundial.
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Thanks, Suzy! Glad you enjoyed the post – I hope your summer’s going smoothly!

  7. I suppose “change” is the best place to be stuck !

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