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!
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!!
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.