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Hidden Gems in St Andrews (in plain view)
Dates on buildings are not particularly unusual anywhere in the country, but St Andrews has an unusually large selection. We will start to look at some examples here and continue in a future article. Dates on Skewputts
Dates A date serves to identify when the building or construction was erected, or perhaps when an addition or alteration was made. Most dates are high up on the building where they can be readily seen, perhaps on a skewputt where the stepped gable hangs over the supporting wall, or on a pediment over an upper window, close to the roof. They may also be on a carved stone set into the wall. In rare examples the date is combined with a street name (for example, Greenside Place 1843, and Victoria Place 1901). On some buildings the date is not incised on stone, but instead is moulded on the hopper of the downpipes carrying rainwater from roofs.
Dates on Lintels
Lintel - New Mill
Marriage Lintel, Market St Lintels over windows and doors may carry a date and a special example of this is the marriage lintel, where not only a date but also the initials of the couple may be incised into the stone.
New Buildings The practice of dating local structures has continued into the current millennium with examples of dates on new or rebuilt structures. North Street
St Leonard’s School
The presence of a date does not necessarily mean that the structure was erected at that time. It is relatively easy to remove the stone bearing the date to install it elsewhere. St Andrews has seen more than its share of stones being removed from one structure and installed in another. A date might also refer to a previous event, such as those in West Burn Lane, which refer to events in the seventeenth century, but were placed there in the early twentieth century.
Union Street Dates on Pediments
The University buildings have an unusual style of date; we will look at these and some of the more ornate dates on other buildings in a future article. (Photos courtesy Arlen Pardoe) Murray Park
West Burn Lane
Hidden Gems in St Andrews