Roman milestone at Mynheer Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017637

Date first listed: 25-Mar-1948

Date of most recent amendment: 29-Jan-1998


Ordnance survey map of Roman milestone at Mynheer Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: St. Day

National Grid Reference: SW 71949 42048


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Milestones were usually set up when a Roman road was first constructed or when it was repaired. The principal roads in Roman Britain were originally constructed for military purposes, but later they also served to move goods and raw materials around the country for the growing demands of trade and industry. Though only around 50 milestones are known in England, and their survival is uneven across the country, their evidence points to a steady programme of road building and repair down to the mid fourth century AD. After this date records cease, but the survival of many Roman roads through to the medieval period shows that they remained in good working order for a long period after their construction. The routes of some Roman roads are still in use today. A milestone is usually a stone pillar with a Latin inscription incised upon it. The inscription usually gives the name and titles of the reigning emperor, his consulate and tribunican power and the mileage from a named town. Succeeding emperors were often commemorated by a fresh inscription on another face of an existing milestone, or by another milestone set up nearby. Later examples from the third and fourth centuries AD seem to have been erected for propaganda purposes as they usually only give the emperor's name and titles, though it is possible that the mileage was painted on rather than incised. The Roman milestone at Mynheer Farm has survived well and is one of only five recorded in Cornwall. The inscription, though worn, is still visible and complete. The milestone provides evidence for third and fourth century AD improvements in the road system in Cornwall, caused by the increase in demand in Britain for pewter tableware and the growing importance of the Cornish tin industry.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes a Roman milestone which survives as an upright granite pillar 1.06m high by 0.36m wide at the base tapering slightly to 0.28m at the top, and is 0.21m thick at the base tapering slightly to 0.14m at the top. The principal faces are orientated east-west. The milestone is almost triangular in section, as the sides taper inwards from the west face, to form a narrow east face. The west face bears an incised inscription in several short lines. The inscription is in Latin and reads `IMP CAES ANT GOR DIA NO PIO FEL' which is an abbreviated form of the Latin for `imperatorinus caesaribus Antonius Gordianus'. This translates as `for the emperor, caesar, Antonius Gordian'. The inscription dates to AD 238-244. On the north side of the milestone is a small hole, 0.04m in diameter and 0.03m deep. The milestone is cemented into a rectangular granite base stone 0.64m north-south by 0.56m east-west and 0.18m high. The milestone was found during ploughing in 1940 in what was thought to be its original location, 150m SSE of its present location. The stone was found 0.25m below ground level and was nearly vertical. It was thrown into the adjacent hedge. The stone was found near a faint linear depression which it is suggested was a major route through this area, and that there may be a road about 1m below the surface. The milestone was left in the hedge until 1943. In October 1946 the milestone was re-erected on a modern granite base in the garden of Mynheer Farm in its present location. The milestone is Listed Grade II. The wooden bench to the south of the milestone where it falls within its protective margin is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 30432

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Cary, M, Scullard, H H, A History of Rome, (1979)
Quinnell, H, 'Cornish Archaeology' in Cornwall During The Iron Age And The Roman Period, , Vol. 25, (1986)
Consulted 1996, FMW reports for CO 319,
Consulted July 1996, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN No.19282.1,
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SW 74/84; Pathfinder Series 1360 Source Date: 1977 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing