The Story of The Big Sundial
Singleton, a town on the banks of the Hunter River in New South Wales, is home to the Biggest Sundial that once held the Guinness World Record for being the largest sundial in the world, a title it still holds within the Southern Hemisphere and its environs.
The enormous Sundial was created in 1987 by Lemington Mine to honour the Australian Bicentenary celebrations in 1988. The celebrations marked 200 years since the First Fleet of the British Convict ships docked at Sydney.
Immediately after its construction, the Biggest Sundial got recognition from the Guinness World Record for its outstanding features. The structure consumed 30 tonnes of concrete, standing 7.92 metres high. It measures 14.6 metres long and includes a galvanizing steel reinforcement to protect it from corrosion.
The Biggest Sundial still looks as good as new owing to the protective layer, allowing it to withstand harsh weather conditions over the past 34 years of its existence. Despite losing the world’s largest sundial title, the structure sits as a reminder of the European Settlement in Australia, commonly referred to as the First Fleet, and the mining activities that boosted the country’s economy.
Australia’s history has a deep connection with mining activities and early settlers; as a result, many of the Big Things sculptures have been purposely built to commemorate these activities. Here is a list of similar Big Things found in New South Wales:
- The Big Bench in Broken Hill – built to celebrate the economic impact of mining in Broken Hill.
- The Big Gold Pick and Pan in Grenfell – recognizes the contribution of gold miners of the Grenfell Men’s Shed in the late 1860s.
- The Big Miner’s Lamp in Bowenfels – honours the use of lantern lamps by coal miners in the region’s dark mining tunnels.
- The Big Gold Panner in Kelso – built to attract visitors to the Gold Panner Inn.