The constancy of Coade stone

This is a photograph of my grandfather, Henry Mungall Gordon, in his home 75 Argyle Crescent, Portobello. I never knew my grandfather as he died in six years before I was born. He was named after the Chairman of the Edinburgh Collieries Company.

I have not been able to find out why and when the name ‘Argyle’ came to Portobello. However I recently came across a story about three pillars that were once to be found in the gardens of Argyll House, Portobello and which were moved in 2006 to a new community garden.

Argyll House and garden was a stones-throw from my grandfather’s home.

I asked my father if he remembered the Argyll pillars but he did not, but it is recalled that our family’s first car was a 10 horse-power Argyll with registration TS 127.It was Eleanor Coade, (1733-1821),  who developed and sculpted this form of artificial stone. She did so at a time when industry was dominated by men and she ran her own business making beautiful architectural ornaments. The constancy of Coade stone has been considered a marvel.

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