When a stonemason cuts and carves a piece of stone, it is important that it fulfils the function for which it was designed, and fits perfectly into place.

St Magnus Cathedral, when being built, had many masons all hard at work preparing the many and differing pieces of stone required. If a piece arrived from the masons and did not fit, then it was important to be able to trace the mason who did a bad job. Because of this, each mason had the equivalent of a signature, a “mason’s mark”, which they chiselled into a completed piece of stone.

As a result, a building like the Cathedral contains examples of these marks, which can still be seen.

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