Saturday, December 03, 2005

Fire Marks

Above is a picture I took of a plaque more commonly known as a fire mark in Shrewsbury, Shropshire UK. Fire marks were used for insurance purposes predominantly throughout the C18th and C19th. After the fire of London, it was thought that there was a need for compensation after a fire. Insurance companies introduced a scheme whereby participating members added a fire mark to a prominant place on their building. Over a period of three hundred years hundreds of thousands of marks were issued and surprisingly many survive today, especially in historic towns. When next visiting a town in the UK take a look at the facade or gable and you might just see a surviving fire mark.

Fire mark found in Beverley Yorkshire UK

Fire mark found in Hull Humberside UK

Fire marks are another example of the myriad of ways that we adorn our buildings and provide a rich tapestry of information about our predecessors.

Roy Addis has a remarkable website full of images of fire marks and a brief introduction to the history of the fire mark

You can view all of my images of fire marks here

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