Welcome to The Briercliffe Society Forum

Mechanics Institute Burnley.
Page 1 of 1

Author:  Plaques [ Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Mechanics Institute Burnley.

One of my projects is to record the various date stones and plaques in the Burnley district. There is one stone in particular that I have had trouble in locating. Ie: Burnley Mechanics. Can anyone help me with this problem.
The extract below suggests it may be somewhere inside the building or without a visible inscription..

"On reaching the spot, John Moore, Esq., of Palace House, presented to Mr. Towneley, on behalf of the building committee of the institution, an elegant silver trowel, bearing the following inscription:— "Presented to Charles Towneley. Esq., of Towneley, the president and the generous supporter of the Burnley Mechanics' Institution, on the occasion of laying the foundation stone, November 25th, 1851." Mr. Towneley received the trowel; and Mr. Smirthwaite handed to him a bottle hermetically sealed, containing the silver coins of the realm from a florin to a penny, and some documents connected with the institution. Mr. Towneley then deposited the bottle in a cavity in the lower stone, and placed upon it a plate bearing the inscription:— "Burnley Mechanics' Institution. The first stone laid by Charles Towneley, Esq., of Towneley, in the presence of the Earl of Carlisle, the Earl of Sefton, Sir J. P. Kay-Shuttleworth, Bart., &c., &c., November 25th, 1851." He then spread the mortar, and the upper stone being lowered, he applied the level, mallet, &c., and the stone was considered "laid.""

Author:  portia [ Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mechanics Institute Burnley.

I don't actually know the answer, but a bricklayer friend once told me it was was common for a coin to be buried under the corner stone of a building, is perhaps there's a stone at one of the corners with some kind of inscription on it to say who laid it?

Author:  Plaques [ Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mechanics Institute Burnley.

Corner stones appear to be the most common way of identifying the main dignitaries on chapels etc;
Perhaps surprisingly the town hall next door has its foundation stone at the back of the building at its lowest point. Both the town hall and the mechanics are built on a hill sloping away from Manchester Rd. Unfortunately, the mechanics does not appear to have any visible external markings either on the corners or at its lowest point. However, there may be some esoteric symbol that I am missing.
Thanks for your interest.

Author:  Gloria [ Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mechanics Institute Burnley.

It might be worth contacting Roger Frost, with his knowledge of Burnley buildings he may know something.

Author:  Plaques [ Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mechanics Institute Burnley.

Roger did an article "Peek into the Past"
http://www.burnleyexpress.net/community ... -1-1684765

This article demonstrates that the building of the Mechanics wasn't as straight forward as one would imagine. The location of the foundation stone may be in the architect's plans but it is doubtful if these have survived.

Author:  Ruth [ Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mechanics Institute Burnley.

I tried googling Burnley Mechanics Institute and noted that there was a link to a page on Friends Reunited. It is probably a longshot but it might be worth posting a query there. If you are not signed up for Friends Reunited I could do it for you.


Author:  Plaques [ Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mechanics Institute Burnley.

Sorry I'm not signed up to "Friends United" but any help would be appreciated. During my own browsing I saw the google entry but it appeared to relate to more modern times so I didn't follow it up. I suppose anything is worth a try.
Thanks for your help.

Author:  Mel [ Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mechanics Institute Burnley.

Apologies for being a little slow in responding to this topic.

I think I have seen an entry in te newspapers for the building of the Mechanic's Institute. I'll see if I can find it and if it refers to the stone. The laying of a stone was usually reported on.

Author:  Mel [ Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mechanics Institute Burnley.

I've just realised that the article is already on the site viewtopic.php?f=20&t=3187&p=16210&hilit=Palace#p16210

Author:  Plaques [ Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mechanics Institute Burnley.

My original reference was from the Lancashire Libraries Archives 19th Century Papers. Which is the one that you are quoting. When you are digging about like this its often the case that you run into the same thing in different places.
One of the difficulties with the Mechanics building is that with it being built on a slope you can see that at the corner of Manchester Rd / Yorke St: the basement cellars are some 10 ft below pavement level. If this corner point was chosen as the foundation corner stone it would be impossible to see any inscription that may be on it.

Thanks for your interest.

Author:  Gloria [ Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mechanics Institute Burnley.

We will see Roger next wednesday and ask if he can add anything.

Author:  Plaques [ Sun Jun 16, 2013 11:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mechanics Institute Burnley.

Both Ken Spencer and Brian Hall, ref Burnley library, have looked into this matter and the general conclusion is that it is lost. The general thinking is that it may have been covered by the extensions that have taken place over the years.
However, even though the answer is negative I would like to thank those people who have helped with this search.

Page 1 of 1 All times are UTC [ DST ]
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group