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Finding Milestones

Find details of milestones, guide stones, boundary markers, fingerposts, toll houses and AA signs!

  • You can find information about the variety of interesting things in an area on Geograph – we have our own presence on the site.

  • You can also enter ‘milestone’ in the general ‘search images’ box and a location, on the homepage, then you will see them listed and also displayed on GoogleEarth mapping .

  • If you want more comprehensive  information, our own ‘Repository’ contains details of over 25,000 items and 17,000 photographs, including canal milestones and wayside crosses, each contained in separate ‘layers’ for downloading into Google Earth mapping. Full instructions are given, too – click here: http://www.msocrepository.co.uk/ 

  • You can (soon!) download printable sheets summarising the information from our database for each English county – keep one in your car! There’s also a short version showing in red those entries for which we have no photograph; please upload a photo to the Repository to help complete our records.

  • Even more comprehensive information from our database is provided in Excel Spreadsheet format; for our 25,000 records, there are up to 30 pieces of information about each artefact – essential for Conservation Officers, Highways Engineers and researchers! Click here for the full spreadsheets shown by location.

  • Our databases are also incorporated in the Historic Environment Records run by Historic England (part of the former English Heritage); look on the Heritage Gateway.

Missing milestones, vandalism and theft

A major concern of the Society is the loss of our milestone heritage through deliberate theft, which in view of the massive weight of stones or posts most often involves the plates recording mileages attached to the stones. Milemarkers in place are the property of the authority responsible for the upkeep of the road and unauthorised removal of any part of them therefore constitutes a crime.

One aim of this website is to alert members to such losses, and therefore help identify stolen material which may appear at car-boot sales, antique fairs, private properties, etc and even advertised on commercially-based websites. The fact that reliable records with photographs are now being made and an inventory of the nation's milestones collected and recorded on searchable computer databases should deter future losses, since identification and proof of provenance will be a straightforward matter.

Members who are aware of theft of a milestone or milepost are urged to report the theft to the police and, importantly, to get a crime number. Also, it is useful to report it to Salvo, where a register of such stolen items is advertised - please contact Rob Caldicott, the Society's theft co-ordinator.