Milestones around the Holme Valley have been having a clean-up. New Mill resident Rowan Denton was stuck in road works one day and noticed a very decrepit milestone out of his window. Someone ought to do something about that, he thought – and then, the lightbulb moment, why shouldn’t he be that someone?

A sculptor, joiner and mould-maker, and former film prop designer, Rowan, now with some funding from the Milestone Society, set about work in the blissfully hot summer of 2018, and his handiwork can be seen on all the roads leading into Holmfirth, and elsewhere. The Brayshaw & Booth stones erected by the West Riding County Council in the mid-1890s, have had their lettering beautifully restored, and Rowan has also painted some of the earlier turnpike stones on the Woodhead Road. These may date from 1768, or 1831 when part of the route of the road was revised – detail above.

Not content with milestones, Rowan has also restored some boundary stones (in This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is HV-Rowan-HCWW-det-812x1024.jpgwhich the Holme Valley abounds), road name signs, and some plates from former water undertakings (Batley Corporation, Huddersfield Corporation and New Mill Urban District Council). The lamb that tops Huddersfield’s coat-of-arms looks especially attractive now – pictured right.

Pictured below are before and after photos of YW_GFSLH13 on the A635 at the top of the hill above New Mill.

Rowan’s artwork can be found at

See also the Huddersfield Examiner, 19 July 2018, or watch a BBC news report at

RWH / Jan 2019