Lost Long Melford milestone to be restored to former glory

CAN YOU DIG IT?: From left: Rob Simpson with district councillors Richard Kemp and John Nunn and the Long Melford milestone.
CAN YOU DIG IT?: From left: Rob Simpson with district councillors Richard Kemp and John Nunn and the Long Melford milestone.

Discovering a piece of history that has remained untouched for decades is what every amateur archaeologist dreams of.

So when John Nunn and Rob Simpson, the founders of Long Melford Heritage Centre, came across photographs of a 200-year-old milestone, their interest was instantly captured.

“I was looking through some old photographs and two suddenly caught my eye,” said Mr Nunn, from The Limes.

The pictures had been given to the pair by the daughter of former village policeman Tom Hewlett, who lived in the old police house in the 1970s.

They showed a milestone on Rodbridge Hill which Mr Hewlett – a keen archeologist himself – had discovered and restored in 1969, but had since been lost.

“We decided we would try to find it and managed to uncover it in a hedge,” said Mr Nunn.

“It was in a very sad state as it has been neglected for years, but is quite remarkable.”

On Saturday, the milestone was excavated and removed with the help of village engineer Simon Webb and will now be restored once again.

The pictures of the mile marker along with the story of the work that went into refurbishing it will then be exhibited in the heritage centre, which opened in May, at the Memorial Village Hall.

“These milestones are getting more and more scare and this one is probably around 200 years old,” said Mr Nunn.

“It is part of our heritage. Stage coaches travelling around the country used to rely on them.

“Hopefully, this one will be another attraction for villagers and visitors to Long Melford to enjoy.”

It is expected that the milestone, which marks the distance to Sudbury and London, will be back in place within the next month.