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Milepost on A20 London Road at Ditton, Kent

A Grade II Listed Building in Ditton, Kent

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.2982 / 51°17'53"N

Longitude: 0.4593 / 0°27'33"E

OS Eastings: 571551

OS Northings: 158319

OS Grid: TQ715583

Mapcode National: GBR PQR.GYF

Mapcode Global: VHJM5.XM6P

Entry Name: Milepost on A20 London Road at Ditton, Kent

Listing Date: 25 October 2011

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1404161

Location: Ditton, Tonbridge and Malling, Kent, ME20

County: Kent

District: Tonbridge and Malling

Civil Parish: Ditton

Built-Up Area: Ditton

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent

Church of England Parish: Ditton St Peter ad Vincula

Church of England Diocese: Rochester

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Summary

Early to mid-C19 cast-iron milepost attached to an earlier milestone.

Description

A V-section, white painted, cast-iron milestone, dating from the early to mid-C19 that is attached to an earlier painted milestone. On the head of the milepost, parallel to the road, the legend, in black-painted relief, reads 'To/LONDON/31/Ditton'. Below this on the east-facing angle the legend reads 'WROTHAM/7' and on the west face 'MAIDSTONE/3'.

History

From the late C17 to the mid-C18 many turnpike trusts were established along roads connecting London with major provincial cities and ports. Milestones became prevalent in the mid-C18 when turnpike trusts were encouraged to provide them, the 1744 Turnpike Act making their provision compulsory on most turnpike roads.

It is thought that this part of the road from London to Folkestone and Dover, at Ditton, became a turnpike between 1750 and 1780. This cast-iron milepost is a remodelling of an earlier stone milestone. It appears in its current position on the Ordnance Survey map of 1869 and, therefore, is probably in its original location.

Reasons for Listing

The milestone, situated on the A20 immediately south of No 476 London Road at Ditton, Kent is recommended for designation for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural Interest: a well-preserved example of a cast-iron milepost, probably early-C19 in date, attached to an earlier milestone;
* Historic Interest: as testament to the development of the national transport system, particularly of the turnpike system, and as a reminder of the different perceptions of distance in the pre-motor age.
* Group Value: one of a group of which two near-identical mileposts, each listed at Grade II, survive on this stretch of road at Ryarsh (NGR TQ6687058643) and at Larkfield (NGR TQ6998558314).


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