A new campaign is being launched by Surrey Heath Museum to raise awareness of stone mile-markers around Surrey Heath.
People have travelled across the open heathland of our area for many centuries and these heathland tracks have become some of the main routes we use today. They are the origins of main roads which pass through our area, such as the A30 (the Great West Road) and the A325 (the Portsmouth Road).
With the rise in stagecoach travel in the 1700s, the increased usage and inadequate upkeep of these routes often made them impassable. Turnpike Trusts were set up charging tolls to travellers, funds from which were used for the upkeep of the roads. One local trust was the Bedfont and Bagshot Turnpike Trust who had control of the London and Portsmouth Roads through Surrey Heath. Stones marking miles along the route (milestones) were placed along turnpike routes. In Surrey Heath’s nine of ten remain, with the remainder removed for structural reasons and a replacement is due to be installed later this year.
To raise awareness of these milestones, Surrey Heath Museum has begun a ‘Hug a Milestone’ campaign and we invite you to find your nearest milestone, take a photograph or selfie of you hugging it and send it in to Surrey Heath Museum. We will post your image on our social media as well as the Hug a Milestone webpage: www.surreyheath.gov.uk/hug-milestone-campaign.
Surrey Heath Borough Councillors have already taken part – view their Hug Shots and we look forward to seeing yours.