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Eleven years later, in 1765, at Barnsley, the same procedure was repeated, and again in 1787, at the Pontefract Sessions, with a reference to a “late Act of Parliament for amendment and preservation of public highways."

The last references to the subject are in the record of the Sessions at Pontefract in 1796, and at Sheffield in 1798 ; but in this case the chief constables are ordered to erect guide-posts at every convenient place, and such posts with the boards affixed at the top to be painted white, with large black letters. The same order enjoins them to put up boards at the entrance to each village, the boards to be white, with the name of the village in large black letters.

From the instances I am able to give, it will appear that the constables and surveyors tried to carry out these orders. The stones set up by them are to be found at the crossings and junctions of roads-in one instance in a place of busy tramcar traffic, in others by the side of main roads, in lanes once the main arteries of traffic, in lanes now quite disused, and again on “large Moors and Commons,” where “intelligence is difficult to be had.” In these last the traces sometimes remain of the pack-horse routes, but in others the stone stands lonely in a swampy moor with no track visible.

The execution varies from the rudest work to lettering in the best style of the time. Dates are few, and it would be misleading to attempt to date the stones from the style of the lettering, as every surveyor would have his own ideas on the subject.

I have recorded some stones which have the distances in statute miles to show how the two standards are intermingled. It is interesting, for example, to compare the stone on Pinhow, dated 1730, showing statute miles, with one near Shipley of about the same date showing customary miles, and again with the Hellifield one showing customary miles as late as 1783. The surveyors must have been utterly confused which measurement to adopt.

My first example (given me by Mr. J. Horsfall Turner) is near Shipley, where the tramway tracks from Thackley and Idle join, and go on to Bradford : (1) To Leeds, 6 miles

[9 statute miles

1739. John Denbigh, Constable, The two following were given me by Mr. Abm. Newell, of Todmorden :

9 miles

(2) In Shurerack Lane, near the boundary of Langfield and WalsdenHalifax,

(12 statute miles] Burnley, 7


] Rochdale, 6


] (3) In WalsdenHalifax,

(14 statute miles) Burnley, 9


] Rochdale, 5

[ 62

] Todmorden, 2

[ 23


10 miles

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The two following are on the old road through Halifax and Keighley to Richmond :(4) At the foot of Dolphin Lane, near CullingworthKighley, 2 miles

(3 statute miles) (5) This road is now lost upon Harden Moor, but appears again running down into Keighley by way of Hogholes, and here at the junction of this road with the old road from Bradford is a stoneHalifax, 8 miles

(12 statute miles] Bradford, 6

[ 8

] (6) In Farnhill, where the old Otley road falls into the old Keighley-Skipton Road

Skipton, 3 miles [ 4 statute miles)
Kighley, 4

[ 5

] Otley,


] (7) The next is by the side of a main County road, and by a miracle has escaped the attentions of the County surveyor and the vengeance of misled and footsore wayfarers. It is at the junction of the road from Carleton with the main SkiptonGisburn Road

I ?
To Skipton, ?
To Gisburn, 6

[8] statute miles] (8) In a by-lane behind Gledstone on the old Skipton-Gisburn RoadGisburn,

[4 statute miles)
Gargrave, 3


] (9) On the main road, Skipton-Gisburn, at the cross-roads near Monk Bridge, is a stone which has been altered to statute measurements

Skipton, 9 Ms Altered from 6 [9 statute miles]
Gisborn, 2 MS



3 miles


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Settle, II M8
II MS [The figures being more recent than the

Colne, 7 MS Altered from 5 [7 statute miles]


The next examples are mostly from the old trade route between the manufacturing district of Halifax and the rural country about Settle, where, before the age of machinery, wool was sent to be spun by hand in the farmhouses and brought back to be woven. The road crosses many steep and rugged hills.

(10) In Carr Head Lane, above Malsis, where the old HalifaxSettle Road crosses the old road to Colne, is a stone (rude and very much defaced)—

Halifax, 12 miles [22 statute miles)
Settle, 12


] The road ascends Glusburn Moor and crosses Carleton Moor before descending to Elslack.

The stone at Stone Gap cross-roads is approximately correct in statute milesSkipton, 4 miles.

Colne, 7 miles And so is another stone very much defaced

Kighley, 7 M. (11) A little further, on Carleton Moor, is a stone now used as a gate-post, and perhaps, therefore, not quite in its original positionSettle,

[15 statute miles) Kighley, 5 Ms


] Thornton, 3 Ms

[ 41

] At the crossing with the old road, Skipton-Colne, near Pinhow, is a well-executed stone, dated 1730, nicknamed the Porridge Stoop," with the distances in statute miles. Again, at East Marton

Settle, II. Skipton, 51. Gisburn, 51. (12) Near Hellifield, at the junction of the main road, Keighley-Kendal, with a road to Otterburn, etc., is a dated stone

1783 To Griston

(? Grassington 2 Miles

[12 statute miles
To Settle,

] This stone is almost on the same route as the · Porridge Stoop," and it is worthy of note how the statute mile was used in 1730 and the customary mile in 1783. “H.C.” was clearly a conservative person, whoever he was,


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