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Coal Posts
Potters Bar
Colney Heath
Newgate Street

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.

Type A: Four sided stone obelisk on square base.
Type B: Large cast iron pyramids set on a square base
Type C: Slightly tapered stone obelisks
Type D: Square cast iron column with bevelled corners

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).

Coal Post Type A

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.
TL 243 028, Hawkshead. Between Brookmans Park and Potters Bar. Appears on the two and a half inch Ordnance Survey Map 1898 as the Duty Stone.
TL 117 967, Watford. Below railway bridge over Colne. In several pieces on the ground, inscription not identifiable.

Coal Post Type B

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.
TL 114 919, Oxhey. Down footpath from the school in Little Oxhey Lane. Not on or near a railway.
TL 091 921, Northwood. (Middlesex). On railway embankment. Arms and inscription on all four sides.

Coal Post Type C

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.
TL 046 932, Rickmansworth. Alongside the Grand Union Canal. Bench Mark.

Coal Post Type D

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.
TL 322 054, Wormley wood. Deep in the woods just north of the lake.
TL 343 058, Wormley/Cheshunt boundary. About half a mile north of Paradise Hill.
TL 304 042, Hatfield. Half a mile south east of Newgate Street at the railway bridge over the road.
TL 300 042, Hatfield. Half a mile south of Newgate Street and North of Carbone Hill.
TL 272 035, Northaw. West end of the Ridgeway.
TL 270 032, Northaw. At entrance to Queenswood School drive.
TL 260 021, Potters Bar. North Road A1000.
TL 260 021, Potters Bar. Church Street. These two markers are within a yards of each other.
TL 257 025, Potters Bar. Turn left from north end of Barnards Road, outside house called Lancresse.
TL 230 031, North Mymms. South end of Water Lane.
TL 205 058, Colney Heath. Road junction.
TL 205 059, Colney Heath. Opposite the Cock public house.
TL 205 050, Colney Heath. Near Coursers Farm. Bench mark.
TL 199 059, Colney Heath. On the heath north east of the river Colney.
TL 182 037, London Colney. Alongside bridge.
TL 176 032, London Colney. Broad Colney bridge.
TL 172 023, Shenley. Near Colneyhouse Farm.
TL 171 020, Shenley. Near Harperbury Hospital.
TL 170 011, Shenley. In hedge on Wild Farm.
TL 163 995, Radlett. High Street, alongside Messrs Wright and Mills.
TL 161 007, Radelett. On the east side of the A5, south of the bridge over the stream and half a mile north of the station.
TL 151 939, Watford, Bushey Heath. On the A4140.
TL 131 926, Oxhey. On the A4008 at Burntoak Farm, gatepost to No.1, The Hollies.
TL 120 952, Bushey. Capell Road near Bushey Station - rusty.
TL 118 955, Bushey. North-east corner of Bushey Arches - rusty.
TL 116 963, Watford. Water Lane. Rusty and deeply buried. Likely to be affected by road reconstruction. (Removed April 1966 and relocated at the College of Further Education).
TL 106 916, Oxhey. On the B468 at Potters Street Hill, near junction with Oxhey Drive.
TL 087 923, Rickmansworth. In playing fields of St Martins School, south of Batchworth Lane.
TL 078 924, Rickmansworth. Batchworth Heath, just south of the Prince of Wales public house.
TL 070 915, Rickmansworth. At the junction of White Hill and Jackets Lane.
TL 069 915, Rickmansworth. Battlewells Farm.
TL 065 917, Rickmansworth. 300 yards west of Battlewells Farm and north of the old reservoir.
TL 058 922, Rickmansworth. On the road from Woodcock Hill to Harefield.
TL 041 935, Rickmansworth. At the bridge over Colne near Drayton Ford.

Click here to see a page of photographs of local coal posts along with Ordnance Survey map references for locating them

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.

Coal Posts
Potters Bar
Colney Heath
Newgate Street

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