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The Mason’s Mark Project

Moira Greig introduces a research project which has recorded more than 8,000 marks from over 1,200 stone masons, raising some intriguing questions about the work that these men did and the buildings on which they practiced their craft
A mason’s mark with possible building instructions recorded at St Drostan’s

This project all started because of one single mason’s mark found on a collapsed fireplace arch within the remains of a castle at Castle Point, Troup, better known as Cullykhan, in north east Scotland (NGR: NJ 837 662). There was no record of the name of the castle, or of its dates of construction. So this one mark made me wonder if it might be possible to find the same mark on other structures in the area, which were of a known date and might have a tie of some sort to this castle, and thus help with possible dating of the arch of the castle. Through starting to look for the mark on other castles, along with a great deal of documentary research, we managed to tie it down through family marriages to a mid-16th century date. So, from such a small thing grew this larger project.

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About History Scotland

History Scotland launches a ground-breaking new series - The Stewart Queens of Scotland, providing a window in the lives of the little-known Stewart queens. Enjoy a range of news, expert articles and commentary, covering centuries of Scottish history and archaeology. Highlights include: * Queen Victoria's trip to the Clyde * New history of art with National Galleries Scotland * The legend of Lovat's Scouts * Discovery of a rare antler t-axe