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Steeples & Baptistries


Steeples & Baptistries were a mission of the Baptist churches of Scotland, Ireland and England prior to 1700. These three ethnic groups had differences in beliefs as well as practice. They were not able to convert to each other's faith because their goals were not similar. Steeples was a place for the converts to get trained and to help fellow Scots who were working in the lowlands with their own converts. Follow this link for more details on Steeples & Baptistries.

Steeples can be found in all the Scottish counties. The location of the steeple can be seen on the top of the main building at the top of the hill. It is the highest building in all the Scottish counties and the tallest in Edinburgh itself. The name itself is a reference to the work of the order of Steeples & Baptistries. Their motto was "In Christ We Trust" and it was dedicated to teaching children about their faith in Jesus Christ.

The work of Steeples was to build many of the houses of worship for these Scottish noblemen. Because of the height of the buildings the workers needed to climb up ladders to get to the top. Because of this climbing many times there would be no one but the workers on the roof above the ground level. This made work difficult and dangerous. There were many fire hazards and many people would die in these tall buildings. All of this changed with the invention of the stairway.

In order to gain a building permit for their homes, the workers had to have a steeple. The design of the stairway was based on the houses of the Scottish nobles. The workers built the steeple to match the house so it fit perfectly. When the workers reached the top they would stand before the grand master of the house, a pointer. Click for more details on this topic. 

In order to make a building more efficient the workers added support beams on the sides of the steeple. Steeples & Baptistries buildings in Scotland were not only tall they were wide as well. There were large doors at the top and another set of doors at the bottom. These were for the servants to go up & down the steps. When they were done, they turned around & walked the other way rather than standing on the glass floor of the front door.

Today you can visit the Scottish steeple. There are plenty of opportunities for historic tours. You can learn all about the history of the steeple. The people who built it and the architecture are very remarkable. Check out this post that has expounded on the topic: https://www.britannica.com/technology/steeple.

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