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Guide Stone at The Wash


Guide stone 1The statute of 1663 the first road to be regulated by a Guide Stone was established between Wadesmill, Hertfordshire, and Stilton, Huntingdonshire.  Barley wagons on their way to the maltings were making the road almost impassable; the problems of the parish-based road system were not so pressing in Suffolk where the first turnpike act was passed almost fifty years later in 1711.

Milestones were initially not a legal requirement for the turnpike trusts, but the General Turnpike Act of 1766 made them mandatory. Some later routes such as Ipswich to Eye via Debenham had no milestones; this was turnpiked in 1802 (Eye-Debenham) and 1812 (Debenham to Ipswich).  The 1837 OS one-inch maps show tollgates but no milestones on this route, although it shows milestones elsewhere.  Three long-distance routes which were turnpiked cross the county were the London to Norwich road (now the A140), London to Great Yarmouth, now the A12 and Ipswich to Cambridge (now the A14).

The history of Milestones and more information about Suffolk Milestones and where they can be found is available on the Milestone Society website


Photographs courtesy of Claude Brand