We often use the word “milestone” in our everyday conversations to mean a significant occasion or important event of some sort and forget that the word has its origins in the markers that were once placed at the side of roads to show how far a traveller was from the nearest town.

In Ireland some milestones were erected by the Post Office since it was involved in the making or improvement of post roads in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Mail coaches needed good roads and, while some attractive milestones from this period survive, many have been lost or removed in the course of more recent road widening.

This stone, a reminder of the time when Irish mail was sent to Britain from Howth, has been set into the wall and should be safe for many years yet.


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