Penpont Heritage Centre

Architectural Features

Cantilevered Staircase

In the first half of the 19th century most workmen’s cottages were single-storey. When William Thomson moved into this cottage people had begun to build staircases and open up an attic space to create a bedroom for their children. Most families were large so creating this additional space was a huge benefit for the children and in addition gave privacy to the adults.

William was a master stonemason so it is not surprising he would work with the material he knew best. This staircase is built entirely of sandstone. Stone staircases are usual in large houses and castles but extremely rare in small cottages but the way this staircase is made makes it all the more so.

Marks where kindlers were chopped

Each step is carved by hand from a single piece of sandstone. Each is then jointed into the wall and balanced on the step beneath (this type of construction is called cantilevered). The stones are built into a beautiful smooth sweeping spiral. If you look at the underside of the staircase you can see the individual steps and their joints.

William Thomson was clearly a master stonemason of great skill with a keen eye for design who in this staircase has created a unique and exceptional piece of vernacular architecture.

Look closely at the bottom stair and you will see marks where kindlers used to be chopped.

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General

General

The Centre will open for the 2017 season at East weekend, Saturday 15 April and will be open Saturdays and Sundays thereafter until the end of September. If you wish to come to the centre at other times, we are very happy to arrange a suitable time. Click here to contact us.

 

Information

 If you are looking for any heritage information please do not hesitate to contact us by clicking here.

 

Volunteers

We are currently on a volunteer drive to make sure the history of Joseph Thomson and the heritage of Penpont, Keir and Tynron continues well into the future.

We are planning a training package for volunteers and a buddy system for the first year. This means new guides will have support from the beginning to help their knowledge and confidence to grow.

If you are interested in becoming a guide and/or a member or the management group, please click here to contact us. 

 

Group Bookings

We welcome individuals, groups and school parties. Please contact us to arrange your booking.

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Become a Friend

Become a Friend

Would you like to help this Centre continue and flourish?

If YES you could:

1. Become a member.

2. Donate/loan materials to our archives.

3. Help fund running costs by becoming a friend.

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