Stolen Redbourn milestones return

Chequers milestone in its new position

Chequers milestone in its new position - Credit: Archant

Historic milestones stolen from locations near two village pubs over a three-year period are now back in place.

The first theft occurred near the former Punchbowl pub on the A5183 near Redbourn in August 2012 followed in April, 2015, by the theft of another milestone from opposite the Chequers pub in the village.

Both thefts occurred on the historic A5 Watling Street which was made a turnpike in the 18th century which was why the milestones were installed.

But now the historic milestones are back in place by the roadside where they belong.

The Punchbowl stone - marked London 23 - is now positioned in the hedgerow approximately in its original position although the pub is now a private house.

The Chequers stone - marked London 24 - had been broken many years ago and the lack of depth in part resulted in its theft as it was possible for one person to lift it from the precarious position it occupied on the sloping verge opposite the pub.

It is now located about 200 yards further north at the entrance to Redbourn village, close to the surviving Harpenden to Hemel Hempstead railway overbridge.

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Local amateur transport historian Sandy Ross said: “It is to be hoped that its more prominent position will result in greater interest by villagers.”

A buried metal frame, set in concrete, has been glued to the base of the stone to replace the broken section. It now stands upright and an Ordnance Survey benchmark is visible.

Although the thefts occurred four years apart, the milestones were discovered at almost the same time - just a week after the second theft occurred.

The Punchbowl stone was found in Hemel Hempstead a matter of hours before the Chequers stone was discovered in Kings Langley