Local historian Roy Parkhouse locates and illustrates milestones around his Monmouthshire hometown.
Mileposts of Morvern
Courtesy of Dr Paula Martin, Editor, International Journal of Nautical Archaeology, Arnydie, Peat Inn, Cupar, Fife KY15 5LF
Amongst the many 'waymarks' shown on this website, the 'milestones' category has over 600 entries, including interesting examples from abroad.
Douglas Cameron (1912-2007) was an amateur photographer and observer of life. His son has undertaken to digitize his collection of 35,000 35mm slides and make them publicly available. With a careful use of the search facility, there are over 80 photographs of milestones. Of particular interest are two sets: Milestones and Signposts
The Bench Mark Database holds information and recent photographs of Ordnance Survey bench marks in Britain. Milestones and other wayside markers were often used as secure and stable locations for survey marks and there is cross referencing between items held in the Bench Mark database and the Milestone Society database.
A Short History of Waymarkers
An excellent and informative over-view of waymarkers, ancient and current.
Alan Reade tells BBC News about his passion for milestones
David Archer sells Ordnance Survey maps, published from 1801 to the present. The one-inch and larger scales usually show milestones, and are essential for milestone research.
Ordnance Survey's online mapping service. Search by placename, post code or grid reference; navigable from one end of the kingdom to the other. Zoomable down to 1:25,000. Click on any point to get a grid reference.
Department of Food and Rural Affairs' version of OS mapping for boundaries and land use. Search by postcode, place name, grid reference, etc; zoom from 1:80,000 to 1:5,000 or lower. Also contains tools for measuring distances and area.
Historical OS maps, available to search online or purchase; from 1850 to 1980, depending on area. Search by place name or grid coordinates (the latter takes some getting used to). Good reproduction, zoomable.
A huge website, with almost 2.5 million photos, arranged by Ordnance Survey grid squares, showing geographical features, including many way markers.
The archaeological sites index (ARCHI) is searchable database of thousands of UK sites.
Fingerposts, Boundary Stones, Turnpikes and other Wayside Features
Finger Posts UK
A Flickr Group. More pictures - from John Nicholls, Robin Barratt, Tim Jenkinson, Alan Rosevear and Tony Boyce
Enthusiast Dick Williams is building an illustrated database of village and wayside pumps, arranged by county. He welcomes new contributions.
Societies and other Organisations with an active interest in milestones and other wayside features
English Heritage has launched its on-line National Heritage List for England, giving descriptions of all listed buildings, scheduled monuments, gardens, battlefields etc.
The current annual audit of heritage sector activity is focussing on the contributions of volunteers in local societies, building a picture of their needs.
You can search local records alongside national ones, historic environment, listed buildings, archaeological excavations and contemporary photographs – explore an area’s history through records and images with links to other local heritage information.
Investigating - Heritage on your doorstep
Historic Scotland has produced a superb guide to exploring your surroundings, aimed at teachers but fascinating material for anyone, particularly those who have children or grandchildren. Beautifully illustrated, it offers inspiration and practical advice, with stimulating discussion topics and projects, suitable for inner cities as well as grand environments. (This is a large file, 5.7MB, and may take a minute to download.)
GEOCACHING is a free real-world outdoor treasure hunt. Players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using a smartphone or GPS and can then share their experiences online - watch out for the Milestone Society Travel Bugs! www.geocaching.com
Geocachers hunt for secret caches by solving intriguing clues and some clues involve milestones or guide stoops - a number of such caches are listed here.
Sabre: The Society for All British and Irish Road Enthusiasts
Also at www.bacsa.org.uk
Started in 1999 as an online forum, SABRE now has over 2000 enthusiasts who meet up frequently. The Society’s mission statement embraces ‘all existing, obsolete, shelved, renumbered, declassified, defunct, projected, planned and fantastic roads’.
They are developing their on-line gallery and mapping into the past – worth a look to see how sister organisations are enthusing the public!
GLASS is the National User Group for those who enjoy using the Country’s network of ancient unsurfaced public roads and vehicular rights of way, a not for profit association dedicated to driving, protecting and researching our unique heritage of unsurfaced public highways. "Green Laners". www.glass-uk.org
A report on how should we pay for our highways, by Dr John Walker
The Village Sign Society
‘Village signs are important in fostering a community spirit in an age of increasing uniformity’. Founded in 2001, the Society is compiling inventory of vintage signs, a ‘potent reminder of our local history and culture’. Modern signs too contribute to commemorating local crafts and legends – and marking the way!!
The Letter Box Study Group, the recognised authority on the British Letterbox.
The Saddleworth Historical Society offers a programme of lectures and seminars.
www.mbbcs.org.uk - committed to the reconstruction of the Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal
Drinking Fountains - originally the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association
Images of England
An English Heritage Millennium project, giving details of all English listed buildings, with pictures of the great majority. Log in to make advanced searches by county, parish, address, building type, etc.
A description of the Millennium waymarkers commissioned for Sustrans' national cycle network.
Some offerings old and new, some good and some perhaps less so, about our wayside heritage; more contributions welcomed.
“The Milestone by the Rabbit Burrow” by Thomas Hardy. A rabbit wonders whether he can find a milestone on the internet…
“In Search of The North South Divide”, by Ian McMillan the Bard of Barnsley – what or where is it?!
“The Tollgate House” by John Drinkwater - a scary tale of a dark night
“The Highwayman” by Alfred Noyes – another scary tale of a dark night
“The Way Through the Woods” by Rudyard Kipling – a scary tale of a summer evening
“The Diverting History of John Gilpin" by William Cowper - a holiday journey that went badly wrong
“The Waiting Man” by Michael Le-Baigue – the story of a guide stoop
"The Old Milestone at Eas’gate" by John Kett - this milestone has a rich Norfolk accent
"Travellers" by Jan Scrine - flooded fields evoke the perils of winter travel in past centuries
“Where’s the Way” by John Nicholls – thoughts on a fingerpost lacking direction
“Night-Time in Mid-Fall” by Thomas Hardy – yet another dark night, with eels…
“Sixty, bloody sixty” by Jan Scrine – on reaching a milestone
"The Turnpike Gate" – A Comic Opera (2.6MB download)
".....it was a real old-fashioned melodrama with...all the traditional characters; the wicked squire with the mortgage and the bold young sea captain who foils him in the last act, wins his bride, and restores her old father to the turnpike cottage. It was first produced at Covent Garden in 1799 " ("The Worthing Pageant", by Henfrey Smail, 1943).
It could have been about any cottage where an old man lived rent free (as a toll-farmer?) – action relating to the tollgate doesn’t appear till page 45. The young ‘hero’ treats his faithful lady abominably and only marries her after she becomes an heiress...
"She Sends me Photos of Milestones" - Terry Quinn