Blantyre Project reader, Arlene Campbell asked me recently, “Can’t think of anyone else who may know. Just to cure my curiosity. I park at the side of St Joseph’s chapel every week and this is the first time I’ve noticed this stonework. It appears to be original stone. Was there something else attached to this building or was it a repair. I don’t get it.”
Arlene attached these two photos.
The location she’s describing is in Mayberry Place, just off Glasgow Road. There wasn’t ever any building attached to this block of homes. Thats always been the end gable since they were built around 1904. The piece of stone was likely an early safety measure. An Anti-climb piece of masonry put in to stop people scaling the corner of the building (even if that sounds bizarre). It also meant any rainwater at the corner of the buildings wouldn’t cause green staining on the sandstone, by it falling off the piece of stone, rather than down the side of the building.
This is not to be confused by modern European building methods that would commonly leave reinforcement and stone sticking out from buildings on the continent, to signify an owners ‘intention to build more’. This was usually a way of avoiding taxes, as in many Euro countries, taxes aren’t paid until a building is deemed fully complete. Some homes in Spain and Greece have avoided paying this tax by having rebar sticking out them for decades!
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