Cornwall’s intricate road network, some of it quite ancient, links all the major towns of the county and to guide travellers milestones and guidestones were erected. Two centuries of intensive road development, from the dawn of the Industrial Revolution to the arrival of the motor car, has given Cornwall a legacy of the best collection of granite
milestones in Britain. Despite new bypasses and faster, wider roads replacing the turnpike roads of the stage coach era, in Cornwall the milestones remain to tell the story of
the pioneering days of road engineering.
Drawing on extensive research, using original maps and documents, the author has traced the growth and development of the road system, piecing together the pattern of milestones and placing it in its historical context. Every roadside milestone in Cornwall is
documented and illustrated, and not just from the turnpike era as examples both pre- and post-date that period. All parts of the county are covered, in a geographical sequence, making this the fullest account ever published of the work of Cornwall’s Turnpike Trusts, and detailing the variety of milestone and guidestone designs. The anomalous and enigmatic Roman ‘milestones’ are examined too.
The author, Ian Thompson, lives in Newquay with his wife and is an active member of the Milestone Society. He spends much time conserving the county’s stones and ensuring their survival for future generations.
This is an outstanding piece of local history, probably the most significant contribution to the history of Cornwall in the last decade or more... The amount of detailed documentary research as well as the out-on-the-ground research is enormously impressive. Cornwall Association of Local Historians Journal
This detailed, engrossing, excellently-produced and undoubtedly definitive study ... a triumph of assessment, analysis and large-format presentation, in the hands of a publisher [who] understands the need for quality in production as well as content. David Viner in the Milestone Society Newsletter
One can confidently predict that it will remain the standard work on the subject for the foreseeable future . . . excellent value. Trevithick Society Newsletter