J. Bolding, Grosvenor Works, London

One of my favourite examples of architectural lettering found in London: a beautifully designed and constructed example of  letterforms that are influenced by Art Nouveau, with their expressive curling elements. This wonderful ceramic plaque is located on the former Grosvenor Works of J. Bolding & Sons, who, as the lettering reveals, manufactured a range of metalContinue reading “J. Bolding, Grosvenor Works, London”

Hahnemann Homeopathic Hospital and Dispensary (former), Liverpool

This lettering is found on the side entrance of the former Homeopathic Hospital and Dispensary in Liverpool. The lettering, cut in relief in a narrow sans serif, sits below a stone pediment. The three-storey building was designed and built in 1867 in the Queen Anne revival style under the patronage of sugar merchant Henry Tate (laterContinue reading “Hahnemann Homeopathic Hospital and Dispensary (former), Liverpool”

Arthur H. Lee & Sons, Birkenhead

I took this photograph some time ago, of the cover of a catalogue of fabric swatches (published 1929) from a company previously based in Birkenhead, Merseyside – partly because I liked the hand drawn design, but mainly because Birkenhead is my home town. I have since mislaid the brochure, which irritates me hugely! The company wasContinue reading “Arthur H. Lee & Sons, Birkenhead”

Co-operative Society, Bridge Road, Lancaster

Another of the lovely emblematic plaques of the Co-operative Society in Lancaster. This one from 1904 is located at the top of Bridge Road in what was formally a corner shop. L&S on the scrollwork refers to the Lancaster and Skerton branch of the Society. Skerton, found just north of the River Lune on whichContinue reading “Co-operative Society, Bridge Road, Lancaster”


One of my favourite examples of environmental lettering found in Lancaster. These large stone letters were designed and cut by local sculpture Alan Ward as part of the celebrations leading up to the millennium. I love the way the river periodically washes over them, leaving bits of detritus scattered across and around them. It’s an interestingContinue reading “Lune”

Old Dispensary, Castle Hill, Lancaster

Set within an ornate frame, this badly degraded inscription (ILC 1845) is found on the frontage of this elegant building, and refers to former occupiers, John (1784-1851) and Celia Leach (1787-1851). The building was originally a dispensary (established by public subscription 1785) that administered basic medical care to the town’s poor until 1832. It’s been suggested that the frameContinue reading “Old Dispensary, Castle Hill, Lancaster”

Artisan’s cottage, Castle Hill, Lancaster

This early example of lettering is set above the doorway to a cottage on Castle Hill Lancaster. Dated 1739, the inscription refers to Richard (1682-1763) and Anne (nee Dickson, -1785.) Thomas. I highly recommend Emmeline Garnett’s excellent publication The Dated Buildings of South Lonsdale. (2007, The Centre for North-West Regional Studies, Lancaster University), from which has recordedContinue reading “Artisan’s cottage, Castle Hill, Lancaster”

Hillhead School, Glasgow

This imposing building once housed Hillhead Primary School. The beautifully cut serif lettering (Govan Parish School Board) is set on the lintel of the entrance way, with the  capitals of the large square pillars being in the form of carved heads. Constructed of red sandstone, this large, five-storey building was built in 1844 in a Neo-classical style.Continue reading “Hillhead School, Glasgow”

Botanical Gardens, Glasgow

These unusual letters and numerals are set within a plaque on the entrance lodge of Glasgow’s Botanical Gardens. Cut in relief they have a quirky, almost playful design with slur (rounded) serifs and and numerals giving the date of construction as 1894 Established at the current Kelvinside site in 1842, access to the Gardens wereContinue reading “Botanical Gardens, Glasgow”

House, 1720, Castle Hill, Lancaster

This dedication is cut into a plaque on the frontage of large Georgian house on Castle Hill. The inscription (B.W.M. 1720) refers to William Birdsworth (-1736), Governor of Lancaster Castle (*). (*) See Emmeline Garnett’s The Dated Buildings of South Lonsdale. (2007, The Centre for North-West Regional Studies, Lancaster University). Location: Castle Hill, Lancaster, UK.