Back
Next

Oxford Milestones


See also Oxford's Boundary Stones (including Highway and Mileway Stones)


Milestone in Headington

Four turnpike roads passed through or terminated at Oxford:

Abingdon–Oxford–Banbury turnpike (A34/A4165):
Three milestones (Foxcombe, Abingdon, and Banbury Roads)
and two toll houses

London–Henley–Oxford turnpike (A4158):
One milestone (at Rose Hill)

London–Oxford–Worcester turnpike (A420/A4144):
Complete run of twelve milestones (Wheatley to Yarnton)

Oxford–Cumnor–Faringdon turnpike (A420)
One milestone (at Cumnor)
and a toll house

Outside links:

The toll gates to the east of the city

Map showing turnpike gates in St Clements

The busiest toll gates were to the east of the city on the three roads leading to London. The 1789 map on the right shows two gates in front of St Clement's Church, one barring the way to St Clement's and the “Road to London through Uxbridge”, and the other barring the way to the present Cowley Road (described as “Old London Road”) and the Iffley Road (described as “New London Road through Henley”.. A third gate the other side of the church prevents access between the road to St Clement's and the other two roads.

The postcard below (published in c.1905 and made from a painting in the possion of Harry Paintin) shows the old St Clement's Church with the toll house in front. The man on horseback appears to be paying a toll to take the road to London: the next toll gate is not far away at the central Headington crossroads

St Clements


The Oxford Canal

The canal also had canal milestones, as most cargoes were charged for by the mile.

Canal milestone
Two miles from Oxford canal basin

Canal milestone
Three miles from Oxford canal basin

Canal milestone
Four miles from Oxford canal basin

The stone on the left is on the Oxford Canal towpath north of the Elizabeth Jennings Way bridge (about 50 metres south of the Wolvercote railway bridge). The one in the middle is a mile further north, just beyond the ring-road and canal bridge 233; and the one on the right is another mile further north again.

Unfortunately canal milestones that survive are missing their cast-iron mileage plates, but the indents for the four leaded dowels with which the plates were fixed can be seen.

Stephanie Jenkins, 2013