I got chatting to a lovely lady over the weekend who explained to me why the base of some columns in churches are shiny. Originally there wouldn't have been any seats for the congregation and people would perch whereever they could find a suitable spot. Over time the lanolin from their woollen clothes leached into the stones of the columns producing the shiny effect. Having been absorbed over many years into the stone it can't then be removed. I do so love a snippet of social history.



  1. I good bit of church history and When I get back to church visits I shall check that out!

  2. Now I did not know that😮 tis a very good snippet!

  3. That's a lovely story, my mind in imagining those people perched on the bottom of the column.

  4. Makes sense to me, especially the part about people roosting wherever they could. There are a few Orthodox churches in our area that still provide seating ONLY for the elderly or disabled (which practice deters the napping one sometimes encounters in Quaker silent meeting...)

  5. I love random bits of information like that.

  6. That is VERY interesting to know! Thanks so much for sharing!


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