Leaving a mark on history. The stonemasons’ marks of selected medieval ecclesiastical and secular buildings of central and southern Scotland

Wallace, Iain Ross (2020) Leaving a mark on history. The stonemasons’ marks of selected medieval ecclesiastical and secular buildings of central and southern Scotland. MRes thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

Our knowledge and understanding of medieval buildings in Scotland, and indeed elsewhere, is influenced by the historical record, which invariably focuses on those at the upper echelons of society who ordered their construction and then occupied the buildings.
This multi-disciplinary research has investigated the stonemasons’ marks found on selected medieval stone buildings in central and southern Scotland which were begun in the 12th and 13th centuries. These marks are the main, if not the only, source of information about the individuals who were directly involved in the construction of many of Scotland’s architectural masterpieces of this period. The stonemasons’ marks identified have been recorded by drawing and photography and a database has been constructed to facilitate the examination of chronological and geographical distribution patterns. This has the potential to identify work patterns of individual masons. The data has also been analysed to identify how many different marks are present and, by interpretation, how many masons worked at the sites surveyed. The potential for familial connections between different marks have been explored. Consideration has been given to the origin of the symbols used as masons’ marks and an investigation undertaken of references to stonemasons in charters and other contemporaneous records to identify, where possible, individual masons by name.
It is hoped that this research will expand our understanding of those who undertook the building work by enabling us to identify, at least by symbols, the individuals involved in their construction. It serves to provide a foundation for future investigation across Scotland and has the potential to expand our knowledge and understanding of the social, industrial and architectural influences affecting Scotland during the early second millennium.

Item Type: Thesis (MRes)
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: masons' marks, stonemason, castle, cathedral, abbey, 12th century, architecture, runic futhark, John Morrow, Anglo-Norman, Historic Environment Scotland, National Trust for Scotland, Scottish Stonemasons Marks Research Project.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CN Inscriptions. Epigraphy.
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Humanities > Archaeology
Supervisor's Name: Driscoll, Professor Stephen
Date of Award: 2020
Depositing User: Mr Iain Ross Wallace
Unique ID: glathesis:2020-81713
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2020 12:46
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2020 17:32
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/81713

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