For those of you (that's you Mike) who are wondering what the hole is to the right of the door on my Just a Facade post... it's a Boot Scraper... or rather what used to be one. The actual boot scraper is torn out. I wanted to tell you it's where the little people live, or the Mouse B&B, but I didn't think I'd get away with that. To see what one looks like intact, click here. They were useful when streets were unpaved and your dainty shoes would be caked with mud. I'm sure it was hard to get the sludge off your stilettos though.
Oddly enough, this is the first picture I could find showing one in context, and it happens to be from a site on Canterbury buildings (where my facade pic was taken). I remember seeing boot scrapers in America on the steps of the brick townhouses in Beacon Hill, Boston. This is a picture of free-standing variety of boot scraper, but the ones in America that I saw looked more like this sort of thing. I would guess that the more ornate the bootscraper, the more money would likely lie within. Must have been very convenient for burglers while staking out their targets.
AND if you're not completely bored of boot scrapers yet you can enjoy the ever-lovely commercialisation of any useful product and get a caterpillar (my personal fave), hotdog (also known as Daschound), snazzy frog (also known as camp), or buffalo (with handy side brushes for those hard to get clumps) scraper. Boot scrapers are clearly a neverending source of gleeful enjoyment.