Tenterden Milestone

11/07/2020
Tenterden News
From 1767 mileposts were compulsory on all turnpikes, not only to inform travellers of direction and distances, but to help coaches keep to schedule and for charging for changes of horses at the coaching inns.
 
This is the 18th Century milestone erected by the local turnpike trust in Tenterden High Street just in front of 53 High Street (between Webbs Ironmongery and the Pebbles building) where the tollgate was located. London 53 miles, Romney 14 miles, Rye 10 miles, Ashford 12 miles, Cranbrook 8 miles, Rolvenden 3 miles. Notice that Rye and London are in capitals, the others in upper/lowercase, obviously suggesting the importance of Rye and London at the time. Apparently the milestone was removed during World War II but was then restored in its original position; it was moved a few feet away from the road a few years to stop cars damaging it
 

Tenterden Milestone

 

Tenterden Milestone

After the abolition of the Turnpike Trust in about 1880, the Tollgate in Tenterden was taken down and apparently burnt at the annual Guy Fawkes bonfire at East Cross "amid great rejoicings". The tollhouse also served as the town's lock up until it was replaced by a brick built police station in 1880.
 
It is wonderful to see the milestone in old photos.
 

Tenterden Tollgate

This photo shows the Tollgate with toll house on the left (the wooden building) in about 1879 looking eastward along the High Street. You can see the milestone in this photo
 

Tenterden Tollgate

The same view in 1971, again showing the milestone. 
 

Tenterden Tollgate

This is an engraving showing the wooden toll house building with the tollgate in about 1762. The gate stood in the narrow part of the High Street. The milestone in place!
 

Tenterden Tollgate

Looking down Tenterden High Street towards West Cross in about 1875. The then new London & County Bank had its entrance porch in the centre of the building (it is now on the left). You can see the milestone in this photo
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