Devon Marker Stones

Devon Parishes:





















The Devon Marker Stones website sets out to document some of the Crosses, Milestones, Boundary Stones and Information stones that I've come across on my travels around the County.  There are so many stones scattered around the area that it would be a monumental task to try and document them all.  This website is designed to show a good sample, although it is intended that it will be expanded upon as time goes on.  This website is the sister site to our Dartmoor Crosses website, for which a link can be found at the foot of this page.

The site has been organised around the Local Authority District Council and Unitary Authority boundaries of the County with the stones of each Parish being shown on a separate page.  The one exception to this is the off-road Dartmoor stones which now has its own section.  Each Parish can be accessed from the District drop-down boxes shown at the head of this page.  There is also a Parish browse facility within each District.

Due to the large number of off-road Dartmoor stones, I have given them their own section.  These have been organised into stone type, Boundary Stones, Crosses, Guide Stones, Menhirs etc. and have been split into manageable sections, as shown in the drop-down menu boxes above. Again, there is a browse facility for the pages within each section.


Further Information

Many of the current roadside stones provide a good reminder of the history of our roads. It's all too easy to forget that most of our current road network originally started out as paths and tracks used by people travelling from place to place over hundreds of years. Most of these tracks would have been no more than than dirt tracks packed down very hard by the sheer volume of feet and horses' hooves on a daily basis. One can only imagine how messy they would become after a prolonged period of rainfall!

It wasn't until the 18th Century that improvements started to appear with Turnpike Trusts being set up under an Act of Parliament. The responsibility of these trusts were to improve the conditions of the roads under their jurisdiction in return for the fee charged for the use of the roads. The income raised would, in turn, be reinvested in the general maintenance and further improvements to the roads. This continued until late in the 19th Century when the trusts were wound up and County Councils took over the maintenance of all roads within their boundaries.

Some of the Turnpike Trusts would set up a roadside boundary stone at each end of their length of road to show the extent of their boundaries. One such stone is shown here, in the current parish of Dunchideock, at the foot of the hill leading up towards Haldon. The engraving on the stone reads: 'Here ends the Exeter Trust'.

Although the Turnpike Trusts were responsible for stretches of roads, the County Councils were generally responsible for maintaining the various bridges over rivers and streams, together with a short stretch of road on either side of the bridge. A number of County Bridge Stones are still to be found within Devon. These stones, which are mostly engraved with a single letter 'C', mark the limit of the roads for which the County Council were responsible on each side of the bridge.  A few of these stones have been engraved with 'C B' (County Boundary).

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