Daily Archives: April 6, 2009

Boundary markers

Lewisham Boundary stone in Blackheath
Every time I wander past this little stone, it makes me smile. I like milestones (although, I believe that this is technically a boundary marker, not a milestone). There’s something very Blackheath about it, especially the fact that upon closer inspection, it is not actually from the 1800s, but is an impostor! A replacement furnished by the Blackheath Society, to remind the locals where Lewisham ends and Blackheath begins:

1903

10ft (NORTH) FROM
THIS POINT IS THE
BOUNDARY OF THE
BORO OF LEWISHAM

REPLACED BY THE
BLACKHEATH SOCIETY
1991

I guess the boundary must have moved at some point, as I live south of the marker, but my council tax is paid to Greenwich… It’s all very confusing – I supposed a little string of boundary markers would make it more obvious, but possibly hold up the traffic somewhat…

Anyway, stone masonry is a wonderful thing, and I was doing a little research about typefaces used by masons, when I spotted this explanation of Serif fonts:

Serifs are the extended corners at the ends of a letter and like all good design, they have evolved naturally. They originated in the stone-carved letters of the Ancient Romans. Stone masons discovered that it was technically easier to finish chiseling the ends of a letter in a slow curve. Not only did serifs look more elegant but they were also very practical as they formed a natural channel for water or rain to flow away as it cleaned dust from the corners.

And then, the internet being the internet, was inevitably guided towards something really wacky… It seems that Eric Gill, creator of one of the most used modern typefaces, had rather a shocking life… Nothing to do with Blackheath, except to say that my journey from here to there wouldn’t have happened without the little stone opposite Barclay’s bank.

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