Mystery Mileposts

An almost complete milepost, but lacking its wooden direction boards.
Photo courtesy of Robert Caldicott.

For many months I have been researching the history of the nationally unique series of tall cast iron mileposts along the former Stratford on Avon to Long Compton Turnpike. There are six survivors, and a plan is in hand to get them restored. However, despite reading the surviving Minute Books and Accounts Books of the Trust, which are in the Warwickshire County Record Archive, and other records in the Worcester Archive, I have not been able to find when they were installed or by whom, or who made them. There are no casting marks that are visible.

Dating the posts

Stylistically the posts have been dated by the Victoria & Albert Museum to 1810-1840, from the acanthus leaf decoration in the castings. I was instrumental in getting the survivor at Little Wolford (almost complete) listed by English Heritage, and they added in their listing that it was installed “c. 1825”. When I asked for their source they gave me the Act of 1825 extending the Turnpike over a new road from Little Compton to Chapel House Inn. When I consulted the Act, I found it does not mention milestones or mileposts anywhere! So, ideas please! I have added a photo of a survivor which it is hoped to re-install at Long Compton.

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