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.
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.
I will release A Touch of Cashémere initially through Xlibris. Within a week or so (have more proofreading to do), I will also release it in eBook format.