Finger Post at Gammaton Cross


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
NGR: SS4904624466
Statutory Address:
Gammaton Cross, Gammaton Road, Bideford, Devon, EX39 4QE


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Statutory Address:
Gammaton Cross, Gammaton Road, Bideford, Devon, EX39 4QE

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Location Description:
NGR: SS4904624466
Torridge (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:


Finger post, thought to date from the 1880s.

Reasons for Designation

The finger post at Gammaton Cross, thought to date from the 1880s, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* for its intrinsic interest as an example of a cast iron finger post with four direction arms and good quality detailing.

Historic interest:

* as an example of an increasingly rare survival of a once-common type of street furniture.


Legislation was enacted in 1697 which enabled magistrates to place 'direction posts at cross-highways'; the earliest surviving example is believed to be Joseph Izod's post of 1669 in the Cotswolds. In 1773 the General Turnpike Act required trustees to erect signs informing travellers of the distance to the nearest town, and often to London. After the Local Government Act of 1888 which established county councils, many finger posts were erected throughout the country of varying designs. The Motor Car Act 1903 passed responsibility for the provision of all traffic signs to local authorities.

The first edition Ordnance Survey map of 1887 depicts a guide (finger) post at the cross roads at Gammaton. The existing post may be the original, or it may be a slightly later replacement, as its style is more akin to later examples.


Finger post, thought to date from the 1880s.

MATERIAL: cast iron.

DESCRIPTION: the finger post is situated at the cross roads at Gammaton, and stands on the verge on the west side of the cross.

The post is circular and has 'GAMMATON CROSS' down its shaft. It has four posts which point to Newton Tracey, Bideford, Torrington and Horwood, with the respective distances to each in miles. The post pointing to Newton Tracey has been damaged. The finger post is surmounted by a pyramidal finial, which bears the letter B, which may stand for Bideford Parish.


First Edition Ordnance Survey of 1887


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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