Guide stones

Guide-stones are known as guide-stoops in Yorkshire, from an old Norse word for post. The first official ones followed an act of Parliament of 1697/8, instructing the county justices to have direction indicators set up at crossroads.  They could be stone or posts, presumably wooden.

Naturally, none of the latter survive, but many of the stones can be found.  The Milestone Society’s repository on Google Earth does not distinguish between guide-stones and milestones, though they are not synonymous: the first guide-stones did not show distances.

Some are still in lonely spots on the moors, though often encroached on by later development.  Sometimes they have been re-used as gate-posts and many, no doubt, will have been lost for a variety of reasons.

The items on these pages illustrate some of the interesting ones that can be found.  Guide-stones of the West Riding has a more detailed history.

RWH / revised August 2021