New Addington (CR0)
|Meridian High School (formerly Addington High School), Fairchildes Avenue|
|Distance (S) from Greenwich|
|OS map details||OS Explorer: 161|
|OS grid ref||TQ 39312.61362|
|WGS84 lat/long||51.334291, -0.001592|
|Type||School | Sundial | Ground (line)|
|Marking date||c. 1953|
|Access||Restricted, but visible from public road|
|01 May 2017||22 Sep 2010||15 Mar 2009||02 Jan 2009||23 Nov 2008||17 Nov 2008||24 Feb 2008||12 May 2007||15 Apr 2006||15 Apr 2005||c. 1953|
Addington High School was formed from the amalgamation in 1984 of the pre-existing school on this site, Fairchildes High School and Overbury Secondary School. A new name was needed so as not to ruffle sensibilities, and one of the names considered but rejected was Meridian School. In 2015, the school changed its name to Meridian High School. The buildings themselves date from 1952 or thereabouts. The Meridian was marked with a sundial on a plinth, and a brass strip on the ground either at that time or perhaps more likely soon after. A student’s painting derived from a photo of the original unveiling was photographed in one of the school’s halls in 2008 (1950s image set).
Between May and July 1953, a number of short articles and letters were published in The Times following the re-marking of the Meridian outside the Royal Observatory in Greenwich Park. None mentioned this school, but the Headteacher of a nearby school in West Wickham did have a letter published. If the original architects had known the school was on the Meridian, there would surely be more than just this sundial – perhaps a feature in the school’s entrance lobby, or even an alignment of or within the buildings themselves.
The positioning of the dial both beneath a tree and on the north side of the buildings would have limited its usefulness as a time finder since it would often have been in the shadows. It seems to have survived intact until at least the 1970s. A refurbishment of the brass strip and the paving around it took place in 2009.