Historic Fenland milestone to be restored

London Road Milestone

A rusty 19th Century milestone between Chatteris and Somersham on London Road is to be restored. - Credit: Fenland District Council Planning Portal

A milestone that has stood on a Fenland road since the 19th century is to be restored.

The Grade-II Listed landmark between Chatteris and Somersham on London Road is close to Toll Gate Cottage and the Crafty Fox pub.

It is a cast iron post and has a rounded head with cross keys in relief.

Travellers are informed Wisbech is 21 miles away on one face and “Saint Ives” is 10 miles on the other.

It also states London is 69 miles.

As rust has developed and the writing has faded over the years, the group Chatteris Past, Present and Future asked Cambridgeshire County Council to repair the milestone.

A post on its Facebook page said: “We're pleased to see that they have asked restoration firm Brown & Ralph to repair it.”

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Repairs of this nature do not usually require planning permission.

But the restorers, based in Longstanton, have applied for listed building consent as the milestone will need to be removed from its current location for the work to be carried out.

The restoration will involve removing all the flaking rust and paint by hand using bronze brittle brushes.

It will also be cleaned and degreased with spirit alcohol and cotton cloth and allowed to air dry.

Any fractures will be filled and bare patches spot treated before it is repainted white using specialist enamel metal paint.

The raised lettering and motifs will be picked out using glass black enamel paint.

The design and access statement supporting the application says: “The proposed repairs and maintenance of the heritage asset will contribute to its long-term survival.

“The proposed works will secure the structure’s continued social function as a mile post and its wider public function as a heritage asset and should be welcomed.”

It added that the work is "likely to have a neutral to moderate positive impact on the historic fabric of the heritage asset and its setting".

There will also be no ground works below the milestone’s existing foundations and the finished external appearance will be unchanged, except for the refreshed paintwork.

The application was submitted to Fenland District Council on December 18.

The milestone is registered with The Milestone Society.