Because Green Lanes is part of an ancient route from London, for a long time it had milestones, indicating distances to the centre of London. Up till the middle of the nineteenth century, they were regularly used as wayfinders. You'd often see adverts in newspapers for example, guiding people by means of directions such as "on Green Lanes near the 4th milestone".
"4th" and "5th" indicate the number of miles from the centre of London. The 4th was four miles and the 5th five miles.
We had two in or near Harringay's borders. The 4th milestone was just about opposite Woodberry Grove / The Finsbury Arms. Its position on this 1893 map snippet is indicated by the letters 'MP'.
The 5th was on the southern corner of Fairfax Road.
All evidence of them is long gone. It would be kinda nice to have them resinstated, but I guess it'll never happen.
If I remember right you can just read London on it thats all the rest is buried. It could be the lost one from near the Queens Pub. It would be lovely to reveal and install it back to its original location if was moved. I can't see why there would be one located on Willoughby Road? Yes I spotted it about a year ago just walking by one day. If it progresses, it would be great to involve the kids at North Harringay Primary School as a local history project. Let me know your thoughts on how to progress this.
Just went onto Haringey Maps and its logged
Aha. I'm wondering if that's the old 5th milestone too.
I'll take a look.
Why is it not on Green Lanes?
This new image I just posted shows a milepost on Green Lanes just about in line with this stone.
I wonder whether in the early years of the twentieth century when road works were being done for trams lines or some such, whether they found that the original milestone was in the wrong place, needed to re-site it but found the old one was in too poor condition. So perhaps they had a new milepost made and re-sited the old one on Willoughby rather than destroy it? A lot of suppositions there, but it could work.
In my youth I made the acquaintance of many a Milestone Inspector along the side roads and by-ways of South Armagh & North Louth, contiguous to the main Belfast-Dublin and Dundalk-Derry roads. Some of my neighbours called them 'tramps', 'vagrants' or, more kindly, 'gentlemen of the road'. I am delighted to see, some six or seven decades later, that this most honourable of occupations or professions survives here, well represented by members on Harringay Ladder and even in the gated confines of Duckett Common and The Gardens.