Cobbled Street and Tron Post in Culross, Fife

This is a photo of one the cobbled streets in Culross, Fife. It’s not a selfie, well I guess it is, but thats not the point of interest, the cobbled lane is of far more importance!

Cobbled Lane in Culross - Back Causeway

Cobbled Lane in Culross – Back Causeway

It shows Back causeway, a late Medieval – Jacobean roadway heading from Culross Town House, or Tolbooth, to the Mercat Cross. The Mercat was the location for markets and generally the centre of the ‘burgh’ or town. From the photograph, you can see the smoother cobbles on the edges of the lane that make up the gutters, and allow the free flow of waste and rain water away from the roadway.

But you can also see some flatter stones laid in the centre of the cobbled street. This part of the lane was for the wealthier and more ‘important’ members of Culross society to walk along, so that they wouldn’t get their feet so wet or dirty.

However, if you were a person of the lower classes, and were caught walking in the middle of the cobbled street, you would be either locked up in the Town House gaol or nailed by your ear to the Tron post!! Folk that were nailed by their ears to the Tron post could only remove themselves by ripping part of their ears off, and thus would be identifiable for the rest of their lives by their mutilated ears!!

Culross Tron Post and Tolbooth (Town House)

Culross Tron Post and Tolbooth (Town House) in background

The Tron post itself would have had a cross beam attached to it, and was used as a weighing beam. Weights and other measurements needed to be standardised in each ‘burgh’, partly to allow the correct collection of taxes on goods and partly to stop corrupt merchants from shortchanging citizens of the burgh.

Picture of how the Tron Post would have been used. Town House (with steps) in background

Picture of how the Tron Post would have been used. Town House (with steps) in background

 

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14 thoughts on “Cobbled Street and Tron Post in Culross, Fife

  1. I remember being fascinated by the tales of nailed lugs when I was wee. Why haven’t I thought to use that as a discipline threat with my kids? We sadly didn’t make it to Culross when we visited Fife in July. It’s a wonderful spot. I’m sure you find wonderful photographic opportunities at every turn there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Christine 🙂 Culross is certainly worth a visit. It must be one of the most untouched villages in Fife (if you ignore the council houses on top of the hill – I’ve got nothing against council houses, it’s just where they are). The core of the village is almost totally 17th and 18th century in age, it’s almost like being on a film set! And yes to your first point, life was quite brutal back then. If you were a thief in Culross, you were branded on the cheek, using the key to the gaol door as a branding iron!!!

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