Midway up at the stairs at the National Library of Scotland is a rather splendid window with lots of fabulous verticals for Jude. Designed by Alexander Ritchie Conlon, it was created by Helen Monro with assistance of students, John Laurie and Bill Courtney.


Apparently Helen, John and Bill were not too impressed with Conlon’s design. They thought it too traditional and unexciting, and so John and Bill added a tiny feature of their own. A mouse in the coat of arms. It shouldn’t be there but they couldn’t resist, and it only came to light in an interview shortly before Bill’s death. You can read it here, or by clicking on the gallery below. By the way I failed to read to the end of the article on the day I took it, so totally missed the mouse. If only I had kept reading.

If I had I could have gone to the top of the stairs and photographed the mouse myself. Still at least the crowns and thistle heads are all in squares and as a bonus are items usually found on top!

By the way the Faculty of Advocates is an independent body of lawyers who have been admitted to practise as advocates before the courts of Scotland. The reason their name is in the middle of the window at the National Library of Scotland is because the National Library owes its existence to them. The National Library was created in 1925 when the Library of the Faculty of Advocates presented its collection to the nation. The Faculty Library, which opened in 1689,  had been a copyright library since 1710 and the National Library of Scotland retains the right to claim a copy of every work published in Great Britain to this day.

111 thoughts

  1. Interesting post, Becky! And you must always READ to the END – I do the same thing! I start reading and then just skip over the rest. Often I take a photo of the information, so that I have it as reference for later, but then when I’m back home reading it, I realize that I missed something – if only I’d read it when I was there!!

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.