Guide and Waymark Stones

Guide and waymark stones were once very important landmarks in the days of navigation without Google Maps. They gave directions to nearby settlements, usually depicted by whatever side of the stone the inscription was placed on. Quite often, several names would be carved onto all sides of a stone. In East Dartmoor and within the parishes of Hennock, Bovey Tracey and Ilsington, many of these waymarkers are impressive pillars with four neat sides. There is nowhere else on Dartmoor with such a remarkable set of stones. Fine examples include Woodhouse Cross and Five Lanes. Tim Jenkinson wrote an interesting piece about these, including NGRs, in 'Granite Guide Posts of East Dartmoor, Milestones and Waymarkers Journal of the Milestone Society, Volume 8', pages 10-11 (2015). What's fascinating is that a number of these waymarkers stand in rural settings, alongside roads that are extremely narrow or even impassable to the motor car. It is therefore likely that at one time what are now green lanes were once well-used by people of the parish, such as Lounston Lane or Tipleyhill Lane. Fortunately, most of the stones can still be found, and it is important that they are preserved.

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