With the onset of the Industrial Revolution, individual canals and railways were established by acts of Parliament. The companies formed were keen to mark the boundaries of the land they owned, leading to the erection of many boundary stones. The following are a few of those whose stones can still be found.


Leeds-Liverpool Canal: a stone remains at Oddy Lock, Armley, marked ‘L & L Co’.

Rochdale Canal: stones marked ‘R C Co’ can be found at Todmorden, Luddenden Foot and Mytholmroyd.  The stne pictured here is at Todmorden


Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway: a stone marked ‘L Y R’ stands beside a Calder & Hebble Navigation milestone at Kirklees Lock, facing onto the canal, with three other markers; other examples can be found at Luddenden Foot and Anchor Pit.

London and North West Railway: around 12 stones on the hillside in the vicinity of Pule Hill, Marsden, marked ‘L N W R’ indicate the boundary around ventilation shafts servicing the three-mile long tunnel under the Pennines. And at Beldon Brook near Lepton a handful of ‘L & N W Ry’ stones mark the company boundary around the foot of an impressive disused viaduct.


The late 19th century was a time of increasing municipal enterprise, including providing a growing population with clean drinking water. These works also needed boundary markers.

Ashton: numbered stones marked ‘ASDWW’ (for Ashton, Stalybridge and Dukinfield Water Works, set up in 1870) can be found around Chew and Dovestones Reservoirs above Greenfield in Saddleworth.  These may be estate boundary markers, but according to www.doveheritage.com they mark the lines of underground water pipes.

Bradford: around 20 stones marked ‘B W B’ can be found around the two Lanshaw Dams on Burley Moor near Ilkley.

Manchester: some ‘M C W W’ stones on Langsett Moor by Salter’s Brook – the catchment grounds for the reservoirs in Longdendale.  (Pictured right)

Oldham: ‘O C W W’ stones can be found at, among others, Blackstone Edge, Castleshaw, and the delightfully-named Broadhead Noddle in Saddleworth.

Source: an article by David Garside in the Milestone Society Newsletter, no 27, July 2014, pp 26-27.

RWH / Jan 2019