Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Milestone south east of Yarnbury Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Steeple Langford, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.1604 / 51°9'37"N

Longitude: -1.9424 / 1°56'32"W

OS Eastings: 404122.0474

OS Northings: 140133.7154

OS Grid: SU041401

Mapcode National: GBR 3YR.1QY

Mapcode Global: VHB5G.83Z7

Entry Name: Milestone SE of Yarnbury Castle

Scheduled Date: 2 June 1956

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1005621

English Heritage Legacy ID: WI 419

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Steeple Langford

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Middle Wylye Valley

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


Guidepost 2395m south east of Deptford Down Barn.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 16 September 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

This monument includes a guidepost situated on the summit of a hill on the eastern side of the ‘Stapleford Road’ now a green lane and to the south of the current A303 road. The guidepost survives as a standing earthfast pillar which is 1m high, 0.4m wide and 0.3m thick and is inscribed ‘IX Miles to SARUM XXVII Miles to BATH’ and dates to 1750.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Guide posts are upright markers erected along routeways to indicate, at their most basic, the course of a route, and sometimes further useful information such as destinations and distances. The idea can be traced back to Roman milestones erected by the Roman army in the first centuries AD. During the medieval period, responsibility for way-marking largely fell to the Church, whose marks frequently took the form of crosses, conveniently asserting the Christian faith at the same time as marking the route. This system collapsed with the Reformation, though substantial numbers of crosses still survive in some areas despite deliberate destruction of many route marking crosses. The Turnpike Acts, which enabled tolls to be levied on road users during the 18th century, revolutionised highway maintenance and made provision for guide posts and milestones. A substantial number of turnpike stone guide posts still survive, and as with the contemporary milestones, they are often of a distinctive style peculiar to one Turnpike Trust or to part of a Trust's length of road. Between 1888 and 1930, highways maintenance, including signposting, passed to County and District Councils, with national government taking responsibility for trunk roads in 1936. The locations, style and level of standardisation of guide posts provide very tangible indicators of post- medieval development of the road system; those erected during the 17th and 18th centuries formed an essential stimulus to the growth of the nation's internal trade which provided the setting for the Industrial Revolution. The guidepost 2395m south east of Deptford Down Barn survives well in its original location.

Source: Historic England


Wiltshire HER SU04SW525

Source: Historic England

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