Oxford Milestones

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

Milestone in Headington

A number of 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):
Two milestones (at Rose Hill and Dorchester-on-Thames)

London–Oxford–Worcester turnpike (A420/A4144):
Complete run of thirteen surviving milestones (Wheatley to Begbroke)

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

Oxford–Eynsham–Witney turnpike (B4044)
One milestone at Eynsham Road, Cumnor

Turnpike trusts were obliged by law to measure the roads and erect markers at one statute mile, giving the distance to the towns at the end of the road.

See also:

The toll gates to the east of the city of Oxford

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 Oxford Canal also had canal milestones, as most cargoes were charged for by the mile. 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. The following ones are on the canal towpath in and just to the north of Oxford.

Canal milestone
Two miles from Oxford canal basin: Just north of Elizabeth Jennings Way bridge

Canal milestone
Three miles from Oxford canal basin: just beyond the ring-road and canal bridge 233

Canal milestone
Four miles from Oxford canal basin

The canal comes to an end at Hawkesbury in Warwickshire, about 82 miles from the Oxford canal basin.

Stephanie Jenkins