Stone signs


More local sightings this time – some of those odd things that hide in plain sight until you stop and look at them, although two are on a road that I haven’t really been down until recently.

The first baffled me for a while – the date of 1824 was clear, but I couldn’t make out enough of the inscription to search for it, and I thought it was a memorial stone, and was having no luck searching for that.

Unexpected stone

But it turns out to be a Cab Horse Duty Stone – the inscription reads:

5 miles from the General Post Office Edinburgh – erected to regulate the Post Horse duties payable by Hackney coaches 1824

Cab Horse Duty Stone

It’s not 5 miles from the old GPO at all, meaning it’s been moved there from somewhere else, which is a bit odd – but it’s still an interesting thing.

The other two really are 5 miles out, quite close together but possibly unconnected – the second is my favourite, but the first is better documented (sort of).

This is a milestone marking five miles out of Edinburgh – date uncertain, but pre-1850, as although it’s not marked on the OS map from that date, the matching 6 mile and 7 mile stones are.


The second, oddly, doesn’t show up in Canmore’s listings at all – it must be at least 50 years old, as that’s when the new airport runway was built right across the old Kirkliston road, and I don’t think it’s a 20th century pastiche, but who knows – the writing in capital letters makes it look possibly newer than the milestone, but the pointing hands are an old fashion.

Glasgow and Stirling by Kirkliston Linlithgow and Falkirk

To Glasgow and Stirling
To Edinburgh

Coincidentally I’ve been reading this month Southey’s journal of his tour round Scotland with Telford, and they left Edinburgh by this road, passing through Linlithgow on their way towards Stirling.

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