What is a Glass Cone?

glasscone The Northern Glass Cone is a 19th-century structure formerly used in the glass manufacturing process at Alloa Glass Works in the burgh of Alloa, the administrative centre of the central Scottish council area of Clackmannanshire. The brick-built cone is the only such structure to survive in Scotland, and is one of four in the United Kingdom, along with Catcliffe Glass Cone in South Yorkshire, Lemington Glass Cone in Tyne and Wear, and Red House Cone in Wordsley, West Midlands.

This cone shaped building was built in 1740 for William Fenney. He had previously managed a nearby Glasshouse owned by his mother-in-law.

This cone shaped building was built in 1740 for William Fenney. He had previously managed a nearby Glasshouse owned by his mother-in-law.

Lady Frances Erskine established the Alloa Glass Works in 1750.

Craftsmen from Bohemia (in the present-day Czech Republic), who also oversaw the construction of the first glass cone on the site, trained the workers. The original structure was 90 feet (27 m) tall.

By 1825, the Edinburgh Glasgow and Alloa Glass Company owned the site; they built another three cones, of which the Northern cone, 79 feet (24 m) high, was one. (Its immediate neighbour was correspondingly known as the Southern cone.) The base was octagonal, rather than circular, and had arched entrances. The main body of the cone was of brick laid in English Bond formation. The original cone and one other were demolished before the 1960s, but the Southern cone survived until 1968. At the same time, the Northern cone regained its original appearance when some later additions were removed.

So, why am I going on and on about the glassmaking industry in the UK? Besides the interesting structure that the glass cone is architecturally, one of these structures plays a pivotal role in my third installment of the Realm series. A Touch of Cashémere has its climax in a partially built glass cone – one in which the heroine Cashémere Aldridge and her twin sister, Satiné, are being held captive. ATOCcrop2

“The first fully original series from Austen pastiche author Jeffers is a knockout.” – Publishers Weekly

MARCUS WELLSTON never expected to inherit his father’s title. After all, he is the youngest of three sons. However, his oldest brother Trevor is considered incapable of meeting the title’s responsibilities, and his second brother Myles has lost his life in a freak accident; therefore, Marcus has returned to Tweed Hall and the earldom. Having departed Northumberland years prior to escape his guilt in his sister’s death, Marcus has spent the previous six years with the Realm, a covert governmental group, in atonement. Now, all he requires is a biddable wife with a pleasing personality to claim a bit of happiness. Unfortunately, neither of those phrases describe Miss Cashémere Aldridge.

CASHEMERE ALDRIDGE thought her opinions were absolutes and her world perfectly ordered, but when her eldest sister Velvet is kidnapped, Cashé becomes part of the intrigue. She quickly discovers nothing she knew previously could be etched in stone. Leading her through these changes is a man who considers her a “spoiled child.” A man who prefers her twin Satiné to Cashémere. A man whose approval she desperately requires: Marcus Wellston, the Earl of Berwick.Toss in an irate Baloch warlocd, a missing emerald, a double kidnapping, a blackmail attempt, and an explosion in a glass cone, and Cashé and the Realm have their hands full. The Regency era has never been hotter, or more dangerous.

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About reginajeffers

Regina Jeffers is the award-winning author of Austenesque, Regency and contemporary novels.
This entry was posted in British history, buildings and structures, customs and tradiitons, Great Britain, Living in the UK, real life tales, Regency era, Scotland and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to What is a Glass Cone?

  1. Suzan says:

    I enjoyed reading about the structure in this novel.

    • In my hometown, one can visit Blenko Glass and watch the glass blowers create wonderful pieces. (PBS has a documentary on Blenko Glass.) When I discovered the glass cones in England, I knew I had to incorporate them into one of my story lines.

  2. junewilliams7 says:

    Very interesting. I wonder how hot it gets in there, with all that molten glass on the fire all day. Thanks for the post!

  3. I am from WV where we still have some blown glass factories. The Blenko Glass Co. is very popular. It’s very warm in the area where the glass blowers work.

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