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A Background to the Mileposts

The campaign to restore all the mileposts on the canal was launched by the Trent & Mersey Canal Society in 1977. Original mileposts removed during the war were found, cleaned and painted before being reinstalled. Thirty-four new mileposts were cast and the final one was unveiled in October 1985.

The original mileposts were cast by Rangley & Dickson. Their foundry was located in Lichfield Road, Stone. The posts are all dated 1819, which means they were installed over forty years after the canal was completed. The mileposts at the Shardlow end of the canal all show 'R & D STONE 1819' on the post. Mileposts 0, 2, 3 and 4 show a rectangular setting for the letters whilst all the others have a slightly more ornate shape. The TMCS used this style on the replacement mileposts.

Mileposts of this style were also used on the turnpikes around Stone and Stoke. One example is buried in the verge alongside the main road that crosses the canal at Eutruria. The original mileposts are now grade II listed.

The reason behind the mileposts was to assist in the collection of tolls. In addition to the cast iron posts, there are also some surviving stone posts, two examples of which are alongside the mileposts at Shardlow and at Aston on Trent. I assume that these stone posts predate the cast iron ones. Some of the remaining stone posts show half miles and are in particularly isolated areas. Were these stone posts positioned every half-mile along the canal?

Finally, my numbering system for the posts uses the distance to Shardlow. There are two reasons for this. First, it is because I live nearer that end of the canal. Secondly, Shardlow always appears on the left-hand side of the post.