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To these are added eighty-two modern marks from the same district, for which I have been indebted to Mr. Cox and Mr. Irvine. Many of the stones from the railway arch, old Monk's Ferry station, it will be noticed, bear two marks. The broad arrow, which looks like a counter-mark, does not always occur in the same position with the mason's mark. In the plate they are placed near together; they are, however, in many cases, a good distance apart, on long stones of about five feet. The measurement is from 6 or 7 inches over all. Some examples are often repeated, and vary to some extent in size. Mr. Cox points out the similarity between No. 4 and the ancient Rock Perch, a landmark which stood on the site of the present Rock Lighthouse; and that No. 3 resembles the old Bootle seamark.
Marks occur also on the other railway bridges, and I am inclined to think that the stones were prepared in bulk, marked, and used for the various bridges as required.
The marks from the wall in Dog Lane, Bebington, copied by Mr. Cox, are of singular form.
Many of them occur over and over again. They are coarsely cut, and of large size, measuring from 3 inches to 10 inches. Nos. 3 and 4 are small (1 inch).
Those from a garden wall at Bebington, Mr. Cox tells me, are only on the best-finished stones; the unmarked ones are the worst work in the wall.
The mark from Spital railway bridge appears to resemble the Roman numeral IX or XL Mr. Cox informs me that it occurs on perhaps twenty stones, and each example bears the little "flick."
Necessarily, in the plates of marks there are many repetitions. From the comparison, however, as mentioned above, some interesting points arise, and it will be more convenient, perhaps, in considering the comparison, to place the whole series of marks in chronological order. This arrangement has also some disadvantages, as the recurrence of marks upon different buildings, or on any one building, is not easily discovered without, in the
first place, tracing the mark to the earliest date at which it appears.
Certain marks recur again and again, for example the broad arrow (Burscough, No. 7, &c), the hour glass (Burscough, No. 28), various forms of crosses, the plain straight St. George's cross (Birkenhead, No. 17), or the St. Andrew's cross (lb., No. 26), with their many variants. These may well be left out of all consideration, unless, as sometimes happens, they bear a distinctive difference. To this small list, it will be noticed, some others may be added, being in use throughout several hundred years, thus going far to prove that, in some instances at least, either different generations of men bore the same mark, or that certain forms were carried forward by different generations of the same family. On this subject I have already given some notes. When, however, the same mark is found on different buildings, within a reasonable distance from one another, both buildings being of about the same date, I think we may fairly conclude, as in the known cases of Stonyhurst and Mitton, pointed out by Mr. Beauclerc, that the stones in both places were prepared by the same workmen. Several instances have been already mentioned, and others will be found in the following notes, some of them being made more marked by the class of work upon which the workman is found to have been employed.
The earliest marks in the list are those from Bebington Church, dated 1120-30. No other examples of these have so far been discovered. No. 6 is repeated at Eastham (No. 9) in 1320. No. 9 occurs at St. John's Church, Chester, at about the same date, and again at Bebington (No. 50), being last seen at Heswell (No. 42) about 1460-80. No. 10 is also found at St. John's Church.
No. n—a common form of the letter W—commencing at Bebington (No. 111, is repeated (Nos. 26, 33, 87, 88), Eastham (No. 10), Backford (No. 5), Heswell (No. 33), Chester Cathedral (No. 38), Sefton (Nos 46, 52), Bebington (No. 125), Ormskirk (No. 3), Stonyhurst and Mitton (No. 30), Bidston Hall (No. 56), Aughton Church (No. 14), and Chester Walls (No. 2). The general form is the same in all, though there are slight differences in the manner of cutting: for example—where all the angle lines are crossed (Heswell No. 33).
No. 12 (Bebington), which resembles a form of the letter A— unless it is a ponion of the pentalpha—may be associated with Thornton Nos. 10 and 11, West Kirkby No. 27; again, Bebington No. 79, Shotwick No. 19, Ormskirk Nos. 20, 32, Bidston Hall Nos. 10, Ii, 12—have a certain resemblance.
No. 13—which has been compared with the numeral 4, but which really appears to be in many instances an unfinished hourglass—is found almost everywhere, sometimes with added lines, as at Eastham (No. 5) and Sefton (No. 80), which agrees with Stonyhurst No. 31. Other forms will be found in Stonyhurst Nos. 22 and 6o, the former of which agrees with Bidston No. 13.
No. 20 occurs at Birkenhead with the addition of a line (No. 31), Thornton (No. 1), Heswell (No. 43), Chester Cathedral (No. 29).
The plain angle (No. 33), with an extra cross-line or without, may be compared with Birkenhead Nos. 11, 32, West Kirkby No. 20, Thornton No. 12; and again, at a later period, Bidston Church No. 16, Sefton No. 55, Bebington 104, 105, and Backford Nos. 11 and 16. A form like the letter |VI, No. 46, appears at Bebington (No. 63).
From St. John's Church, Chester, will be found a selection of the various forms of crosses, some of which are represented elsewhere. For example: No. 8 agrees with Birkenhead No. 94; the swastika No. 15 may be compared with Birkenhead No. 41 and Chester Cathedral No. 3, St. Mary's Gateway, and perhaps Caesar's Tower No. 1; again, at a later date, Bidston Nos. 37, 38, and the City Walls of Chester, perhaps, Nos. 4 and 9. I menlion these, but do not attach much importance to the recurrence of any form of cross.
St. John's Church No. 31 is repeated at St. Peter's Church (No. 67), Chester Cathedral (No. 7), again at St. Peter's (No. 4), Brimstage Hall (No. 10), Woodchurch Church (No. 5), Sefton Church (No. 38), and perhaps the City Walls of Chester No. 1.
The small angle No. 44, and the letter fSJ or Z, No. 52, in various forms will be found in use throughout almos: the entire period covered by the plates.
Of the Burscough marks I have already made several comparisons. Others may be mentioned: the common mark No. 30 occurs at Bebington Nos. 37, 64, 77, Eastham No. 15, Sefton