Sunday, 2 September 2018

carved in stone

When we say that something is ‘carved in stone’, we are suggesting that it’s unchanging, that it’s the accepted way of doing things. However, I’d like to suggest that in the real world, with real stone, things that get carved into stone are eventually forgotten, and to emphasize the point, I’ve compiled a short quiz involving examples of stone carving in my home town, where the ubiquitous building material until the end of the nineteenth century was a red desert sandstone (Penrith sandstone).

If you are a casual visitor to the town, you may think that trying to find all of these examples would be an interesting way to spend an afternoon, but I should warn you that I suspect that not many Penrithians would know where they are all located, and not all are in the town centre. Most of the images are small, which should tell you that you will need to look up to see most of these carvings.

I’ll start with five simple plaques. Where is Castle View?

Where is the British School, built in 1847?

Where is the Primitive Methodist Chapel, built in 1837?

Where is the Infant School, built in 1833?

And where is Wigan Terrace?

Another apparent street name is Inglewood Terrace, although you won’t find either on any street map or directory. This name has been carved directly into the building:

The next image is a coat of arms:

…while the next carving is also vaguely heraldic:

And now for some dates:

You may guess that the building identifying itself as a bank in the next photo no longer functions in that capacity:

Here are two more conventionally sculptural carvings:

Finally, where is this elaborate decorative carving above a doorway?

There are no prizes for locating these eighteen examples, although if you think you know them, do leave a comment.

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