Milestone returns after 15 years

Charnock Richard parish council chairman, John Taylor with parish councillors, Harold Heaton, Ann Bishop and Jim Hill during the unveiling of the refurbished milestone on Preston Road
Charnock Richard parish council chairman, John Taylor with parish councillors, Harold Heaton, Ann Bishop and Jim Hill during the unveiling of the refurbished milestone on Preston Road

Back home to stay - and it’s miles better than being away...

A cast-iron milestone post that was stolen from Charnock Richard 15 years was returned to the ground in the village at the weekend.

The milepost – dated 1837 – turned up at an auction in Chelford, Cheshire.

A resident there, whose wife’s family lived in Euxton, spotted it and realised it should not be in the sale.

Police stopped it from being sold and it was reunited with Charnock Richard Parish Council.

John Taylor, chairman of Charnock Richard Parish Council, said it was good to have the milepost back.

“It has been completely refurbished,“ said John, who was at the unveiling ceremony at the A49 Preston Road/Church Lane/Brook Lane junction on Saturday morning.

He added: “It’s had a concrete base. It is bolted down onto the concrete base and has been cemented over on top.

“We are minimising the risk of it being stolen again.”

The milepost had been on the A49 near Yew Tree Villas when it disappeared.

John said: “It’s a very historic artefact – it goes back to turnpike roads. It was manufactured in 1837.

“Somebody came along with a vehicle and some lifting equipment and pulled it out of the verge and it probably wasn’t concreted in at the time.

“At that time I worked for Lancashire County Council’s highways department, and I remember quite clearly the parish council making contact with me telling me this thing had been stolen. It belonged to the highways department.”

The parish council thanked Superior Powder Coatings at Leyland for doing the major refurbishment - sandblasting and powder coating - free of charge.

The Wigan-Preston road (A49) was one of the first roads in Lancashire to be turnpike in 1725 and an Act of Parliament required all Turnpike Trusts to provide mileposts/milestones.

The Charnock Richard milepost was one of six similar ones manufactured at Haigh foundry in 1837.

The only other remaining one is that at Standish (Langtree)