- Last Updated: Monday, 06 July 2020 19:38
- Written by Graham Brooks
DATE STONES ON BUILDINGS
Date stones appear on all classes of buildings from farm buildings through the humblest dwelling to major country houses. They also appears on industrial buildings, civic and ecclesiastical buildings.
Datestones vary from a simple inscription carved into the lintel above the door.
A cottage in Wigton.
Sometimes the date is carved into a stone built into the wall either above the door or in a gable.
A villa in Ravenglas.
The common date stone on domestic and agricultural buildings in Cumbria usually consist of three initials arranged in a triangle over the date. The upper initial usually represents the surname, with the two lower letters giving the initials of the husband and wife. The date usually representsthe building of the structure but may represent an event such as their marriage or the date they moved into the property.
A cottage in Caldbeck.
Like the simple date stones a number appear as basic stones either in a wall or just above the door lintel. The majority have some form of decoration around the date and initials as in the above example
In a lot of cases the initials and dates were put onto the door lintel.
Alby farm, Stainton.
Care has to be taken because a lot of date stones have been reset into more modern buildings when they have been built to replace the original building.
On estates the initials may represent the owner of the estate at the time of building.
Parkgate Cottage a new build from the Earl of Carlisle.
Date stones on civic and industrial buildings are usually in the form of commemorative stones and usually give details of owners, engineers, architects and in the case of civic constructions names of councillors etc.
Date stones on church of England churches are quite rare but the dissenting chapels usually have a date stone on them.