Ancient Monuments

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Guide post at Place Cross

A Scheduled Monument in Okehampton Hamlets, Devon

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Latitude: 50.7327 / 50°43'57"N

Longitude: -4.0355 / 4°2'7"W

OS Eastings: 256445.086

OS Northings: 94538.353

OS Grid: SX564945

Mapcode National: GBR Q1.918Q

Mapcode Global: FRA 27F4.PN9

Entry Name: Guide post at Place Cross

Scheduled Date: 19 November 1965

Last Amended: 9 April 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020069

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34278

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Okehampton Hamlets

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Okehampton All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


This monument includes a guide post situated on the eastern side of a busy
road junction at the fork between two roads, the Narratons Road and the
Holsworthy Road at the junction known as Place Cross.
The monument survives as an upright granite stone, leaning at a rather sharp
angle, which measures 0.25m wide by 0.2m deep at the base and tapers slightly
upwards to a height of 0.7m.
The stone is inscribed on two faces: HATH/ERLY/1704/S M/GL OKE/AMP/TON/1704.

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

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 guide post at Place Cross survives comparatively well, with clearly
defined inscribed writing, and a date of 1704 which neatly sets its place at a
time when the road systems were becoming more formalised within England.

Source: Historic England


Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX59SE8, (1997)

Source: Historic England

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