New bid to move milestone back to its historic homes

VILLAGERS in Compton Bishop are fighting to get an historic milestone moved back into the parish. The stone, which dates back to 1837, used to stand in Old Coach Road and inform motorists how many miles it was to Cross in one direction and how far it was

VILLAGERS in Compton Bishop are fighting to get an historic milestone moved back into the parish.The stone, which dates back to 1837, used to stand in Old Coach Road and inform motorists how many miles it was to Cross in one direction and how far it was to Bridgwater in the other.However, when the A38 was built in the 1930s, the rock was moved and it now stands to the side of the busy main road.Residents in Compton Bishop have asked the parish council to reinstate the stone at its original home, but Somerset Highways has so far blocked the move.Parish councillor Margaret Jordan said: "The piece of road from Shute Shelve to Lower Weare is a new road. Before that all the traffic went through Cross, which is why it's called Old Coach Road."It would be nice to be able to have the milestone back where it belongs."During the 1800s Cross was a busy coaching village and had three inns to house visitors.Coaches could travel for 20 miles before they needed to change horses and, because Bristol is just 18 miles from Cross, it was a regular service point for coachmen.Villagers are also worried the milestone will get damaged if it is left on the busy A38.The stone is listed and the council needs consent to be able to move it, as well as a historic association to justify the move.However, Somerset Highways is unsure whether the marker is the original milestone.A milestone is noted on an Ordnance Survey map dating back to 1904, but the stone stated the distance to Bridgwater and Bristol, not Cross.A spokesman said: "The location of this site, almost within the historic centre of Cross, and the noted legend for the stone, do not correspond with the existing milestone and therefore it is not possible to identify this as its original position."The county council has advised the parish council that it would be difficult to justify the repositioning of this milestone due to the confusion of the current known information.


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