The Lost Milestone


Bath Road milestoneThe cast iron plate that was fixed to the milestone on the Bath Road in the dip between Cumberwell and Farleigh Wick has not been in place for a good many years. This was a pity because three others -in Market Street, at Widbrook and Trowle Common- still exist.

Luckily, it has now turned up and has been given to Bradford on Avon Museum. It is made of cast iron and the four wrought iron bolts that fixed it to the stone are still with it. These plates probably would have been put in place by the Bradford Roads Turnpike Trust after the new highway from Bradford to join the London-Bath Road at Bathford was completed in 1793 (the relevant Act of Parliament went through in 1792). The Trust’s road from Bradford to Cockhill Gate, just outside Trowbridge, had been opened forty years previously, so the two mile markers on that route (9 and 10 miles to Bath) must have been placed there retrospectively.

The Museum would like to have a resin cast of the plate made, so we can put that on the milestone.

Other milestones should have been at Dry Arch on the Wiltshire-Somerset border (5 miles) and around Frankleigh (7 miles). Another stone without a plate (4 miles) still exists on the hill up from Bathford.


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