Kirkhill Astronomical Pillar

A film about David Stewart Erskine, the 11th Earl of Buchan, antiquary, eccentric and astronomer.

In 1776, David Stewart Erskine commissioned construction on his land of a scale model representation of the solar system on a scale of 12,283.23 miles to the inch

His astronomical pillar is now to be found in Almondell Park. It bears engravings (now much eroded) with various astronomical images facts and figures including a table of predicted positions for the 20th May 2255 of all major solar system bodies known in 1776. The reason for that choice of date is not known but it is close to the 9th June 2255, the date of a rare (about twice per 125 years) transit of Venus in front of the sun, a phenomenon in which Buchan had a special interest, specifically those of 1761 and 1769

 

Based on a visit to the Temple of the Muses, Dryburgh, on the last day of March 2017.