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Roman milestone at Mynheer Farm

A Scheduled Monument in St. Day, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.2344 / 50°14'3"N

Longitude: -5.1992 / 5°11'57"W

OS Eastings: 171949.3575

OS Northings: 42048.5

OS Grid: SW719420

Mapcode National: GBR Z4.QCCV

Mapcode Global: FRA 080D.SBB

Entry Name: Roman milestone at Mynheer Farm

Scheduled Date: 25 March 1948

Last Amended: 29 January 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017637

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30432

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Day

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Day

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a Roman milestone which survives as an upright granite
pillar 1.06m high by 0.36m wide at the base tapering slightly to 0.28m at the
top, and is 0.21m thick at the base tapering slightly to 0.14m at the top.
The principal faces are orientated east-west. The milestone is almost
triangular in section, as the sides taper inwards from the west face, to form
a narrow east face. The west face bears an incised inscription in several
short lines. The inscription is in Latin and reads `IMP CAES ANT GOR DIA NO
PIO FEL' which is an abbreviated form of the Latin for `imperatorinus
caesaribus Antonius Gordianus'. This translates as `for the emperor, caesar,
Antonius Gordian'. The inscription dates to AD 238-244. On the north side of
the milestone is a small hole, 0.04m in diameter and 0.03m deep. The milestone
is cemented into a rectangular granite base stone 0.64m north-south by 0.56m
east-west and 0.18m high.
The milestone was found during ploughing in 1940 in what was thought to be its
original location, 150m SSE of its present location. The stone was found 0.25m
below ground level and was nearly vertical. It was thrown into the adjacent
hedge. The stone was found near a faint linear depression which it is
suggested was a major route through this area, and that there may be a road
about 1m below the surface. The milestone was left in the hedge until 1943.
In October 1946 the milestone was re-erected on a modern granite base in the
garden of Mynheer Farm in its present location. The milestone is Listed
Grade II.
The wooden bench to the south of the milestone where it falls within its
protective margin is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath
is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Milestones were usually set up when a Roman road was first constructed or when
it was repaired. The principal roads in Roman Britain were originally
constructed for military purposes, but later they also served to move goods
and raw materials around the country for the growing demands of trade and
industry. Though only around 50 milestones are known in England, and their
survival is uneven across the country, their evidence points to a steady
programme of road building and repair down to the mid fourth century AD. After
this date records cease, but the survival of many Roman roads through to the
medieval period shows that they remained in good working order for a long
period after their construction. The routes of some Roman roads are still in
use today. A milestone is usually a stone pillar with a Latin inscription
incised upon it. The inscription usually gives the name and titles of the
reigning emperor, his consulate and tribunican power and the mileage from a
named town. Succeeding emperors were often commemorated by a fresh inscription
on another face of an existing milestone, or by another milestone set up
nearby. Later examples from the third and fourth centuries AD seem to have
been erected for propaganda purposes as they usually only give the emperor's
name and titles, though it is possible that the mileage was painted on rather
than incised.
The Roman milestone at Mynheer Farm has survived well and is one of only five
recorded in Cornwall. The inscription, though worn, is still visible and
complete. The milestone provides evidence for third and fourth century AD
improvements in the road system in Cornwall, caused by the increase in
demand in Britain for pewter tableware and the growing importance of the
Cornish tin industry.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Cary, M, Scullard, H H, A History of Rome, (1979)
Quinnell, H, 'Cornish Archaeology' in Cornwall During The Iron Age And The Roman Period, , Vol. 25, (1986)
Consulted 1996, FMW reports for CO 319,
Consulted July 1996, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN No.19282.1,
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SW 74/84; Pathfinder Series 1360
Source Date: 1977

Source: Historic England

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