Long Melford Heritage Centre The "Lost" Long Melford Milestone Recovery

Long Melford Dig 2011- BBC Great British Story | The Long Melford Heritage Centre | The "Lost" Long Melford Milestone Recovery |


The "Lost" Melford Milestone-It's discovery, restoration, and re location in the spring of 2013



In early spring 2013, a collection of photographs and documents was kindly donated to the village Heritage Centre by Susan Banks, daughter of former village policeman Thomas Howlett. Tom who was an avid local historian, and highly regarded amateur archaeologist.

Cllr John Nunn, and co founder of the Heritage Centre, found two small black and white photographs of a Milestone dating back nearly 50 years, (see top left), that had been lost from Rodbridge Hill, Long Melford, over the following years.

John Nunn, and his Heritage Centre co founder Rob Simpson, then made a search of the area and found the forgotten Milestone, laying on its side and partly buried, in a hedge, further down Rodbridge Hill.

It was then decided, that the weight, and the historical importance of the Milestone meant that removal and recovery by hand, was not an easy option. Local young village diggers, with the support of Cllr Richard Kemp, carefully dug out the buried part from under the hedge, to expose the full stone structure.

John Nunn then contacted local engineer Simon Webb, who kindly brought along his heavy lifting equipment and trailer, to lift it out and recover it safely. John also worked hard to bring in other local experts, to assist on the project as it developed.

Rob Simpson contacted the Milestone Society, who advised on the best methods for restoration, and types of paint to be used. They also confirmed that this particular Milestone was not on their records, and advised that the Melford Milestone, could be up to 200 years old.

A few weeks later, it was properly cleaned by Simon Webb and his team, before local artist Vernon Lever, expertly re painted the lettering on two of the sides of the Milestone, within the original stone carved lettering.

When it then came back to Rodbridge Hill, the onlookers were amazed to see the incredible transformation, as local builder Shane Green, built a professional stone plinth around the Milestone, but without damaging the Milestone structure itself.

It was felt by all involved, plus villagers, passers by, local press, and the Milestone Society, that a great job had been done, and that another part of the Long Melfords heritage had been restored, and protected for future generations. 

In 2014,  another village Milestone within the Melford Parish of Bridge Street, was located.

Again Simon Webb restored it, and put back in place with the Heritage Centre volunteers, plus Vernon Lever and Shane Green, beside the busy A134 to Bury St Edmunds.

To find out more about the origins of Milestones, please go to www.milestonesociety.co.uk