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Milestone returns home to Houndkirk Moor

This is an archived press release

Wednesday 19 February 2014

Peak District National Park rangers have helped re-instate an 18th century milestone on Houndkirk Moor after it spent nearly 70 years as a garden feature in nearby Dore, Sheffield.

Milestone being re-instated by ranger Tom LewisThe milestone, with its unusual skull and crossbones, was first removed from the old Houndkirk turnpike road in the 2nd World War when many guideposts were taken down to foil an invading force.

At the end of the war it was piled in with a load of materials from a dismantled mock town that had been created on the moor as a night-time decoy for German bombers searching for Sheffield's steelworks.

Some of the stones were used to create rockeries for new post-war houses in Dore, and that was how it ended up for nearly 70 years in the garden woodland of David Harrison, of Heather Lea Place.

Last year, David took part in an open gardens event for charity, and a member of Sheffield Time Travellers archaeology group spotted the milestone and knew that its base was still standing on the moor. David said he would like to see it returned to its rightful place, and so he and his grandsons prepared it for re-instatement.

It was finally replaced on top of the base by Peak District National Park rangers and members of the Time Travellers, using stainless steel rods and resin to make it secure.

The milestone probably originated sometime after 1767 when such posts were made compulsory to guide travellers on turnpikes (toll roads). It has the distances to Sheffield on one side, and to Tideswell and Buxton on the other, with the skull and crossbones carved underneath – no-one knows why.

Bill Gordon, national park estate ranger for nearby North Lees, said: "It brings great joy to re-unite a piece of history with the area it came from. It's part of the moor's unique cultural heritage and we're very grateful to David Harrison and the Time Travellers that it's been saved for posterity."

David said he was thrilled that others will now be able to appreciate the full stretch of milestones from the Norfolk Arms right through to Longshaw.

This is an archived press release

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