Britain’s canals were the life blood of the industrial revolution and a largely commercial machine. It was necessary for boatmen and canal companies to be able to calculate precisely how far boats had journeyed along the waterways as these distances formed the basis of toll charges.

Ellesmere Port, Shropshire Union Canal Ellesmere Port, Shropshire Union Canal

Many of the canal acts of Parliament required that mileposts should be placed at roughly mile-long intervals along the canals. Some canals also have intermediate, half and quarter mile posts. A few of these mileposts, which bore the names of the canals’ terminal points, still stand today.

Stone examples can be seen in the north, along the Peak Forest Canal and the Manchester, Bolton & Bury Canal. Cast iron posts were common along the Shropshire Union and Trent & Mersey canals.

Last date edited: 7 July 2015