The names North and South wings are entirely arbitrary but are in keeping with 18th and early 19th century plans. In early 20th century guide books they were called the South-East and North-West wings. The sundial is on the buttress at the southern corner of the South wing.
The South Wing, which is the oldest part surviving, was built before 1450. but has seen frequent changes. The Long Gallery on the upper floor was created around 1700 and major changes were made on the ground floor early in the 19th century to create the Regency Rooms.