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Milestones that need to be cherished

For a year now I’ve been passing, on my daily bus journey into Cork City, the location of two very unique milestones near Wilton Roundabout.

The milestone in the shape of a vertical Toblerone bar on the left side had “Innish 18 miles” on it - Innish being short for Innishannon. The right side has “Cork 2”.

This milestone has been hidden under green growth all summer and the raised script has been illegible for many a long year now.

The milestone was manufactured in one of Cork’s numerous foundries, the Bee Hive in Little Hanover Street.

And the 2 milestone that marks Cork’s ‘golden mile’ outside the Western Star/AIB hasn’t been seen for nearly a decade now. The Post Office Roads Act was passed in 1804 requiring roads to be constructed for the purpose of speeding the mail (a coach and four) with a minimum road width of 42ft and a maximum width of 52ft between post offices.

Alexander Taylor supervised the surveys of 2,700 miles of road completed in 1817. Taylor’s maps are outstanding and are preserved in the National Library of Ireland. A feature is the gradation of the roadways which would of course be important for the coachman and his team of horses.

The coachman wouldn’t have had a time piece or a milometer, hence the importance and the great saying in the English language ‘it’s a milestone in history’.

The milestone was vital for the punctual delivery of the mail as indeed the transport of the passengers, hence their extreme importance and the need to preserve and maintain them all over the country and give our transport heritage its proper place in the history books.

Our motorists pay a lot of motor tax and this is very much their history.

Thomas Scannlain
Baile An Easpaig


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