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 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.