Sunday, 16 December 2012

Signposts (8): Flint stone

On the road from Hawarden, just over the Welsh border from Chester, is a cast-iron milestone. Although the  sides are lichen-covered and not as clear as they should be, the top is still easily legible: 'County of Flint 1892'. The Milestone Society describe a similar milestone, not far away in Halkyn, so it may have been a standard design. Frustratingly, although there appear to be foundry details on the base these are now illegible. 


Counties had been given responsibility for milestones in 1888. By this date, their importance had waned significantly. They were no longer needed for calculating postage, since there was a standard postal rate paid in advance using a stamp; turnpikes were less important now that trains had replaced coaches. Nonetheless, the County of Flint clearly saw a use for them and proudly added its name and the date to this example. Today, the cars speed by far too quickly for it to be read. But then, they probably don't need to know that Chester is precisely 6 miles 0 furlongs away - or that Northop is exactly 5 miles and Holywell 11 miles 2 furlongs in the other direction. 



2 comments:

colin woodward said...

The "f" on the milestone will be furlongs, not feet

CarolineLD said...

Agh, of course! Thank you, now corrected.

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