Hillesden Milepost – Reinstating a piece of Buckinghamshire’s heritage

HAT, 07 November 2022 - About Archaeology in Buckinghamshire

In July 2021, Buckinghamshire Council Archaeology Service (BCAS) were contacted by Peter Gulland, the Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire representative for the Milestone Society. Whilst out in Oxfordshire Peter had been approached by a homeowner who had found a very rusty old milepost hidden in the hedge in his garden. The milepost was in a very bad condition, but the words Brill and Buckingham could be seen as directional markers, with Hillesden written at the top.

The milepost before restoration

The homeowner wanted to see the milepost put back in its rightful location, but as to where that was, and how to achieve this he was not sure! Luckily the signage, whilst damaged, was clear enough to tell us that the position of the post was 3 miles from Buckingham and 13 miles from Brill, which placed it at the T junction in Hillesden hamlet. The Buckinghamshire Historic Environment Record also had a record of a post in this location. It seems that it was taken at some point in the early 1990s, but how it ended up in a garden in Oxfordshire will never be known!

After many internal conversations between BCAS and our colleagues in the Highways team, it was determined that the council could put the milepost back, and so in January 2022 it was collected from the house in Oxfordshire and taken to Moss’ blacksmith’s in Thame for a fair bit of conservation works. We would like to say a big thank you to Peter Gulland for funding the restoration works.

The milepost after restoration

The final hurdle was for the Highways team to find a suitable time to put the milepost back. This was not a simple task, with temporary traffic lights needed, and local residents to inform. But finally, after a lot of work from all involved the milepost was reinstated on October 25th 2022 with help from Buckinghamshire Council members Cllr Strachan and Cllr King.

Want to learn more? Read The Toll Roads of Buckinghamshire by Peter Gulland or visit the Buckinghamshire Heritage Portal.