Illustrated Catalogue of

Ayrshire Milestones

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I took these two photographs of a milestone near Mauchline in September 1990. It was part of a full set of stones on the road between Mauchline and Schaw (on the B730). Within a couple of years the stone was removed during roadworks, and it has not reappeared since.

Milestones are relics of a slower time, and even when not obscured by an encroaching hedge or an overgrown verge, are all but invisible to the passing motorist. The intervals they mark are of significance only to those for whom their approach is anticipated and their arrival welcomed, as they count down the slow miles of a journey. So an individual milestone can disappear without causing a stir. It may be long gone before anyone notices that it is no longer there. And there is a gradual wastage, year by year, until only a few remain.

In parts of Ayrshire, particularly in the north, there are few milestones left. Elsewhere, on many roads in the centre and the south, they are still quite common. But here too there is attrition, and enough have been lost in the last fifteen years to suggest they may soon become a rarity.

That is the inspiration for this Illustrated Catalogue of Ayrshire Milestones.

It will be a complete record of extant milestones (and mileposts, and stones and posts which indicate direction only), providing a record of their existence and condition on a known recent date. And I hope it will be an encouragement to others to value them, and to note their removal and to seek to have them reinstated.



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