How to find Hertfordshire's coal posts
There are four main types of coal posts found in Hertfordshire. Below are the descriptions of the different types along with Ordnance Survey map references for locating them.
To read the feature on coal posts on this site click here.
The following is based on an original list from Hertfordshire County Council's Archives, prepared in 1961. Since then some coal posts have gone missing and many details have changed. Some were missed off the list.
Updated notes from 2000 have been added after the posts have been checked and where changes to the records are needed. There will also be links to pages showing photographs of the listed coal posts where images are available.
To see the exact location of the posts on a map, copy the references, go to the Ordnance Survey site, enter the grid reference in the search field and you will see a map showing the exact spot where the post can be found.
All the grid references relate to the Ordnance Survey Landranger Series 1:50,000 scale map for Luton and Hertford (sheet 166).
These are four sided stone obelisk set on a square base. They are 12' to 14' high with, on one side, the arms of the City of London and details of the Act under which it was erected.
TL 368 052, Wormley. Alongside the railway line, lying in
several pieces on the ground. The inscription not identifiable.
These posts are large cast iron pyramids set on a square base. They are about 5' to 5' 6" high with, on one side, the arms of the City of London and details of the Act under which they were erected. Many bear the inscription "ACT 24 & 25 VICT. CAP 42" on a metal plate which is fixed to each face.
The ACT 24 & 25 means the posts were set up following the Act of Parliament in the 24th and 25th year of the reign of Queen Victoria and the Cap 42 refers to chapter 42 of that Act.
TL 159 008, Radlett. Near two cottages at the end of The
Avenue, half way down an embankment, rusty and overgrown.
These are slightly tapered stone obelisks, about 3' square at their base and 4' in height. The have a shield depicting the arms of the City of London embossed on one face and have the details of the Act under which they were erected, "14 & 15 VIC. C.146" (details of the inscriptions explained above).
TL 372 050, Wormley. Alongside Lea Navigation. Bench Mark.
These square cast iron column with bevelled corners are the most common. They are set on a base with a cap and a small collar just below. Out of the ground they are about 4' high. When in position, and part buried, they are 3' to less than 2' depending on how deep they are set in the ground.
Between the cap and collar there is the arms of the City of London. Below the collar many have the details of the Act under which the posts were erected. On the base of the marker are the details of the casting company - Henry Grissell, Regents Canal Ironworks, London.
These inscriptions are usually dated. The columns erected under the 1851 Act have the inscription recording the 1861 Act screwed over the original (in some cases the plates have been lost). There are other minor variations.
The body in the post, including the cap, is white. The coat of arms depicted is that of the City of London, with the shield bearing the Cross of St. George and the Sword of St. Paul, painted red on a white background.
Beneath the coat of arms is to be found the letters "24 & 25 VICT. CAP 42" (details of the inscriptions explained above).
TL 364 056, Wormley. On the east side of the A10 behind a
brick pillar box.
Click here to see a page of photographs of local coal posts along with Ordnance Survey map references for locating themReferences
From the records at Hertfordshire County Council Archives department.
Guildhall Library, London.
Middlesex Council Bulletin, November 1961.
Hertfordshire Countryside, Spring 1963.
W.Branch, Johnson, Bangor House, Welwyn, Herts.