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Milestone appeal for Lancaster 200th

An appeal has been launched to buy replacements for 24 missing milestones from the Lancaster Canal.

Milestones - or mileposts - are a key feature of almost all old canals, and many have had campaigns to restore or reinstate missing ones - for example, the Trent & Mersey, the Macclesfield and the Leeds & Liverpool Canals. 

The Lancaster Canal was 57 miles long, from Preston to Kendal, and had around 56 mileposts (the exact number is uncertain, as the canal had been shortened and they aren't sure if there was a milepost at the start in Preston anyway) 

Only 32 remain.  A local stone mason, Alan Ward, will be making and installing the replicas as part of a school education project, the new ones will be made of a local sandstone, and they will closely replicate the original designs.

There were two types of milestone. Those to the south of Lancaster had an oval plaque, probably cast iron, with a town name (either Lancaster, Garstang or Preston) and distance. None of these original cast iron plaques remain today, and a few in place are restorations.

The milestones between Lancaster and Kendal simply had mileage engraved into the stone.

The Trust is looking for sponsors to donate up to £200 to restore each mile marker.

Legend has it that many of the milestones were removed during the Second World War, when part of the canal formed part of an official stop-line to contain an invasion of the Lancashire coast, but canal historians have found no evidence for this. 

A replica plaque on a Lancaster Canal milepost near Galgate.

An original Lancaster Canal milepost near Sedgwick.


Tuesday 21 May  | Andrew Denny  | 4.52pm, Tuesday 21 May 2019

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