Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The George at Wanstead Cherry Pie Stone

The Stonemason's Story

A picture and the comments from Eric in Paris put me in mind of this stone, that can be seen in the wall of my local pub (picture of pub and closeup of stone).

This inscription was uncovered inside the wall when it was being rebuilt around 1900 and it reads:
"In Memory of
ye Cherry Pey [Pie]
As cost 1/2 a Guiney [52.5 pence]
ye 17 of July
That day we had good cheer
I hope to so do maney a Year
R C 1752 D Terry

The story goes that the stoenmason working on scaffolding on the pub - much as this workamn is here - was tempted by cakes passing by from the bakers next door. One day, the temptation overcame him and he stole a cherry pie. For his pains, he was fined half a guinea (52 1/2 pence, or a dollar or euro). Whatever the truth, I like the way the story was hid away for over one hundred and fifty years.

posted by Ham at 12:20 -- Comments here: 5

Comments on "The George at Wanstead Cherry Pie Stone"


Blogger Michael Salone said ... (06:15) : 

Ham, I didn't quite know what you meant, but now I get it (a little slow here on the continent!). This was a great link to the other paris post and amazing what they find when they are renovating.

I am also always amazed at the changes in the English language over time and the currencies. As an American, we obviously don't have the years behind us to have seen such fundamental changes.


Blogger Ham said ... (08:03) : 

Michael, interestingly (?) your english is less changed over the last 200 years than is ours. A lot of the "Americanisms" (sidewak etc) date back to the English of that time. I've also heard it argued that the accent is of the same vintage, but that is debateable.

That reminds me - I'd better annotate the text!


Blogger Ineke said ... (14:34) : 

Great story Ham!

Reminds me of something I heard a couple of weeks ago when i toured around the harbor. One of the big oil companies there needed to have a big pipe painted. They hired some englishmen (no joke)because their firm had experience with the special safety instructions for this (the pipe is over 100 mtrs tall). Anyway, the job is done, painters are paid and back home and then one day, one of the ppl working there looks up and sees this huge smiley on top of the pipe (i swear still no joke, saw it with my own eyes). After a lot of words and phoning back and forth they decided to keep it like this and now it's the marking point for a lot of people in the area.


Blogger John Nez said ... (15:23) : 

Great story... and what an age that must have been that lowly misdemeanors could be immortalized in folk art and set in stone for the ages.

Must have been one heck of a cherry pie brownie!



Blogger Felicia said ... (17:41) : 

Wow, who knows what is hidden behind a wall? I got 2 great stories from your post - yours and Dutchie's!


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Name: Ham Location: London, United Kingdom View my complete profile