There’s a moose loose aboot God’s hoose

A mouse at the Communion rail?

In the July 1981 edition of the ‘Scots Magazine’ there was a feature on the ecclesiastical work of Robert Thompson to be found in Scotland. Robert was the ‘Mouseman’ from Kilburn in Yorkshire who made exquisite oak furnishings complete with his trademark mouse crawling over it. It was Robert and his descendants who made many of the oak furnishings and fittings in St Andrew’s Tain. The article has a short piece about St Andrews and our thanks to Campbell for digging the article out for us. The bit about St Andrew’s follows:

We now return to the mainland, and cross Easter Ross to the ancient Royal Burgh of Tain on the Dornoch Firth. Here is the church of St Andrew, a lovely little building dating from Victorian times and adorned with more than one mouse.

In 1936 Robert [Thompson] installed the reredos, and his work on these is always worth examining closely. At the same time he fitted the altar rails, and what better tribute to him can be found than that from a Kent lady who tells me that she never passes through Tain without popping into St Andrew’s Church to see ‘the neat little mouse carved under a rail.” A lengthy enough mouse-hunting journey for anyone!

The congregation of the church must have been satisfied, too, because in 1967 they commissioned the grandsons Cartwright1 to carve a lectern and later to fashion a pulpit.

  • 1 The sons of Percy and Elsie Cartwright (Robert Thompson’s daughter), John and Robert, joined the family business when they left school at 15 and worked under the supervision of their grandfather Robert Thompson until his death in December 1955 when they took over. 

One thought on “There’s a moose loose aboot God’s hoose

  1. I have known of the Mouseman from childhood, visited his place of origin and love his work. It is a delight to learn of his unique presence in St. Andrews.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s