The Barnstaple Turnpike Trust was formed in 1763 to manage all the roads leading into the town. At its peak the Trust covered an impressive 104 miles, making it the second largest turnpike in the county. Just prior to its closure in 1879, the Trustees agreed to set up a series of new milestones within the boundary that would be measured from a common centre of the whole of Barnstaple Turnpike Roads. A polished reddish granite quoin engraved in gilt was inserted into the corner of Barnstaple Guildhall for this purpose.
A largely uniform set of stones were set at the roadside, many of which survive today but in varying states of repair. Unfortunately, further from the town the stones have suffered from decades of neglect with many succumbing to unchecked vegetation or buried in banks during road widening. However, the seven stones at a distance of 1 mile from the Guildhall still exist. Of these, two survive and can be found in Pilton - on Westaway Plain near Youings Drive - and in Bradiford - near the bridge across Bradiford Water.
This document, by Tim Jenkinson, is reprinted with thanks from The Milestone Society, Newsletter 14, January 2008 and gives the grid reference of each should you wish to visit them.
When the houses in Youings Drive were built in the late 1970s, the milestone was lost for some time when the stone boundary wall was knocked down. Reginald Norman, uncle to John Norman, was instrumental in tracking it down and getting re-instated in its current position on the corner of Youings Drive.