War Department stones in Oxford

This type of Ordnance Survey Marker is marked WD (War Department), with the the department's broad arrow pointing upwards between two letters. They mark the boundaries of land formerly owned by the War Department.

In Oxford there are at least three of these stones that mark the extent of Cowley Barracks, all dating from before 1878.

Barracks stone 1

W D No. 1
Outside 222 Hollow Way
marking the front right of the barracks land

W D No. 2

W D No. 2
On Hollow Way, opp. Dene Road, just to left of wall
marking the front left of the barracks land

Barracks stone 3

W D No. 3
On the corner of Fletcher Road and Eastfield Place
marking the rear of the barracks land

W D No. 4
This seems to have disappeared, but the 1878 map
below shows that it should be on the North-West
side of Brasenose Driftway


Further information kindly supplied by Ian Meadows

Marker stones were only erected at the First World War stations/camps that became permanent bases after that war. Most were erected between 1926 and 1929 and were the result of the decision made by the Salisbury Committee that the Air Ministry/War Department should own the land on which their buildings stood instead of only the buildings as in the case of WWI. These stones were erected where there is a change in direction of boundary. There were at least two types, a large one and a smaller version. Each one has a unique number to that station and around 20 or more were erected at each site. The post war ROC stones follow the same principle as their 1920s counterpart but do not appear to be numbered.




Map of 1878 showing Cowley Barracks

This map shows that the War Department stones shown above were already in place by 1878
(W.D. No. 3 is off the edge of this map, and would be on the next sheet.).

1878 map

Map showing the position of the above three stones today

Cowley Barracks

Back of Cowley Barracks

Stephanie Jenkins, 2013