The oldest known device for the measurement of time,a sundial indicates time by the position of the shadowof a gnomon cast by the sun on the face of a dialmarked in hours. The gnonon is a flat piece of metal inthe center of the dial with its back pointing towards thenorth pole when in the northern hemisphere and facingdue south and with the upper edge slanting at an angleequal to the latitude of the location of the sundial.
Obtained from Mr.D.B. Haselton, Ironmonger, ofCharleston, S.C. this sundial was presented to thecitizens of Barnwell in September, 1858, by JosephDuncan Allen ( 1812-1880 ) benefactor and philanthropistof Barnwell, who served in the Florida Seminole IndianWar, Mexican War and Confederate Army, S.C. House ofRepresentives and S.C. Senate.
Atop the sundial, a cannonball rests which was used inthe Confederate War.
Although the adjacent courthouse was destroyed by firein 1865, the sundial survived and is in its originallocation. In 1918, a concrete curbing was added as aprotection against traffic hazards. The sundial wasrepainted, additional concrete reinforcement was addedat the base and after much research, this plaque wasdesigned and installed on June 3, 1986.