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
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.