Cast iron milepost


SKU: 1981/011 Categories: ,


Cast iron milepost approximately 5 ft high from the former A1 road (currently A1087 (May 2018)) 1 mile east of Dunbar (OSGR NT 693 777) indicating “D1”, “R13”, “H15”, and “E29” which refer to the mileage to Dunbar, Renton, Houndwood and Edinburgh respectively.

The location can be found on the OS 6-inch 1st edition series Haddingtonshire sheet 7 (surveyed 1853) shows the milepost at NT-69067-77765 detailed as “M.P. Edinburgh 29 Dunbar 1 Renton 13 Houndwood 15” (see

Image 4 shows the the milepost in situ on the A1087 (old A1) one mile south-east of Dunbar, on the cut-off loop now forming the entrance to Deer Park Cemetery. It was removed (c.1980) from its location because a number of similar mileposts were being stolen for the scrap value.

Following correspondence with John Riddell of the Milestone Society the additional information below is presented. The Milestone Society has the aim to “identify, record, research, conserve and interpret for public benefit the milestones and other waymarkers of the British Isles”. For more on the Milestone Society go to

Our original entry for this milepost was incorrect (the destinations Renton and Houndwood had been incorrectly listed as Reston and Haddington).

In a letter by Sir John Robison FRSE (1783-1843) dated Feb.1833 he states that he designed the prototype for this and other similar mileposts ‘some time ago’ – say around 1820. Robison implies that the cast-iron design was preferred to traditional stone milestones mainly for cost reasons, but he also notes ‘indestructibility by mischievous boys, and affording a resting-place to weary pedestrians’. To see this letter click here (Ref: The Architectural Magazine, and Journal Vol 1, Loudon JC (ed). Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, Green & Longman, London 1834.)

It is believed this milepost is one of very few (perhaps just two) surviving cast-iron mileposts in Scotland known to comprise ‘all-round’ front and rear castings. Other designs were always front casting only, with hollow rear – cheaper, and suitable for installation backing onto walls.

A similar milepost four miles further south is shown in image 6 (Ref: GRAHAM, A. Archaeology on a Great Post Road. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland Session 1962-63, Vol XCVI Plate LV. National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1965.).

Additional information

Acquisition Number


Item Type

Short Description

Cast iron milepost

Manufactured by

Date of Manufacture

c. 1830



Supporting Items


Makers Number



"D1", "R13", "H15" and "E29"

Dimensions (mm)

930 (H) x 170-300 (dia). Head: 500 (W) x 190 x 190


Date Donated

November 1981


Cast iron



Display Location