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Oxford Milestones: London–Oxford–Worcester turnpike


Wheatley
Wheatley
London 48
Oxford 6

Holton
Holton
London 49
Oxford 5

Forest Hill
Forest Hill
London 50
Oxford 4

Thornhill
Thornhill
London 51
Oxford 3

Headington east
Headington east
London 52
Oxford 2

Headington west
Headington west
London 53
Oxford 1

Magdalen College
Magdalen College
London 54
[East entrance to Oxford]

12 Woodstock Road
12 Woodstock Rd
London 55
[North entrance to Oxford]

243 Woodstock Road
243 Woodstock Rd
Oxford 1
[London 56]

385 Woodstock Road
385 Woodstock Rd
Oxford 2
[London 57]

Gosford & Water Eaton
Gosford/Water Eaton
Oxford 3
[London 58]

Yarnton
Yarnton
Oxford 4
[London 59]

Begbroke

Begbroke
Oxford 5
[London 60]

The Stokenchurch Turnpike was set up in 1719, and the trust was responsible for the road from Stokenchurch through Oxford to Woodstock, except for the mileways in the city of Oxford, which were inluded in 1761/2. This rroad originally took the Old London Road across Shotover.

In 1773 the Trustees of the Stokenchurch Turnpike resolved to apply to Parliament “for power to divert the Road, and entirely avoid Shotover Hill”, and in 1788 sought “to impower the Trustees to compleat a Road from the Bottom of Cheney-Lane, upon Headington-Hill, to Forest-Hill…, to be used instead of the present Road up Cheney-Lane and Shotover-Hill”. In 1793 the Trustees asked that “the milestones be new faced and set up at the proper distances on the whole road and new stones provided where necessary”.

Many milestones survive on this road, and there is an unbroken run of thirteen milestones (shown above), starting at Wheatley the east of Oxford (48 miles from London) and ending at Begbroke (60 miles from London). East of the city the distances on this turnpike road are marked as being from London and to Oxford. The ones north of the city state the miles to Oxford and London.

The road was disturnpiked in 1878, and the toll-gates removed.

The toll-houses/gates on this road included:

  • Headington (on the south-east junction of Windmill Road and London Road). This toll-house was demolished c.1890 to make room for a new Co-op building
  • The Plain, Oxford. The first toll toll-house was built in 1771, but was soon replaced by an octagonal one much closer to St Clement's Church, on the site of the present Victoria Fountain. It was demolished in 1869. There were two gates, one across the road to London via St Clement's and Headington and the other on the road to London via Henley (now the Iffley Road).
  • Yarnton (the former Grapes Inn)

The middle section of the London to Worcester turnpike that runs through the counties of Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire originally had 53 milestones (the first being 16 miles and the last 68 miles to London). Of these 53 milestones, 37 still survive:

16 Denham

34 Stokenchurch

52 Headington east

17 missing

35 Stokenchurch

53 Headington west

18  Denham

36 Stokenchurch

54 Magdalen College

19 Gerrards Cross

37 missing

55 Woodstock Road (No. 12)

20 Gerrards Cross

38 missing

56 Woodstock Road (No. 243)

21 Chalfont St Peter

39 missing

57 Woodstock Road (No. 385)

22 Chalfont St Peter

40 missing

58 Gosford & Water Eaton

23 Beaconsfield

41 missing

59 Yarnton

24 missing

42 missing

60 Begbroke

25 Beaconsfield

43 Tetsworth

61 missing

26 Chepping Wycombe

44 Great Haseley

62 Woodstock

27 High Wycombe

45 Tiddington with Albury

63 missing

28 missing

46 missing

64 Wootton

29 High Wycombe

47 missing

65 missing

30 West Wycombe

48 Wheatley

66 Glympton

31 missing

49 Holton

67 missing

32 West Wycombe

50 Forest Hill

68 Enstone

33 Piddington & Wheeler End

51 Thornhill

 

 

Stephanie Jenkins