Wednesday, 29 June 2011


Bill knows the oddest words.  We were walking home one day, through  a street of council houses.  None were particularly wonderful, mostly having front doors that were right on the pavement and windows at eye level to the pedestrian world.  I did remark that the ones on the other side of the road were slightly nicer, but the differences were quite subtle.  As we walked we began to notice the small design features that lifted a block of housing a bit.  Bill remarked that even the depth of a window sill could make a difference and he was right.

Then we came to the corner and I said I liked the brick work.  He said they were coins.  Like the money.  I looked for the term but couldn't find it, however I did find quoin

On the other hand, if you look at the origin of the word coin, as in money, it comes from Old French, coigne "a wedge, cornerstone," coigne.  Turns out it's spelled coign, (or quoin) not coin.  But he could be forgiven, after all I found it in the 'dictionary of difficult words.'

However it's spelled, I like the effect, and I'm guessing this house's owners do too, as they have emphasised it with a bit of lovely green colour.  Do you?


Rick Stone said...

When my folks built their house in Purcell they had each corner done like this. Of course, they left the brickwork in it's natural red color so the quoin's did not stand out as well as the one in your picture.

Terri said...

coign--shall try to slip that into conversation somewhere in the next few days.

Dumbwit Tellher said...

Shelly I have heard that before but always tend to forget what you call that particular pattern of bricks. It's so stately, and I love it. We have many homes here with the quoin pattern but none as elegant as in the U.K. I hope you both have a lovely weekend ahead.

Cheers! Deb

Rick Stone said...

Have had some RV friends here the last two evenings and we have been showing them around our great city. This evening we took them for a drive through Nichols Hills and saw a beautiful example of this quoin style. Probably would not have even noticed it had you not written about it.

Shelley said...

Rick - Yes, some of the Nichols Hills houses are lovely, but my favourite neighbourhoods are the older Edgemere and Crown Heights and even Heritage Hills.

Terry - I don't suppose you actually managed it...or did you?

Deb - The architecture and history here are some of my favourite things about Britain (certainly not the weather). So pleased you stopped by for a visit.