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,Β  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. In the current situation I don’t really mind, Becky. We’ve been lucky so far and got out for a walk most days, and by the afternoon it’s blown over and I can sit up top. It was a bit windy yesterday so I actually stirred myself to make an apple crumble. Haven’t tried it yet. No custard, though 😦 And it’s pelting down so he’ll have to have ice cream. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Take care, hon!

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    1. Going to have to wait to see your cat as Margaret has already highlighted you have linked back to me. Hopefully I’ll find your post in a mo, and will correct this πŸ™‚

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  1. I love that the creators added their individual ideas to the window design. How often does it happen that when you want to use a photo for a blog post you end up wishing you’d taken more or from a different angle. I do that all the time.

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  2. The crown and thistle are square in the post but clicking makes them rectangles. I call subterfuge πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ or did you mean the actual windows themselves….I am going square eyed

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