Quantock Hills Blog

Spring cleaning our Quantock finger posts

- Quantock Rangers help take care of our heritage sign posts

Katy Coate

Posted by Katy Coate on 19 January 2016

Spring cleaning our Quantock finger posts Rangers Rebekah and Dave have been out in the Quantock AONB this week with a power sprayer and a scrubbing brush cleaning up our heritage finger post signs.

Our finger post signs are actually rather special.  They are all original cast iron road signs, relics from the early days of motoring and distinctive to Somerset, many of these signs date back to the early part of the last century.  In 2001 our Quantock Hills AONB Ranger Tim Russell recorded the condition of all road signs throughout the area and applied for Heritage Lottery funding to restore and repair 30 finger post signs within the Area of Oustanding Natural Beauty in order to return them to their former glory, but also to help identify the area as a protected landscape.

In most cases the core of these old posts was rusted away and so the whole signpost had to be stripped down and a new core put in place before reconstruction could take place.  New arms and collars were also needed.  Moulds were taken of original arms, posts, spacers and finials and new pieces were forged at Cerdic Foundries in Chard in a traditional way.  Staff from Somerset County Council’s Hightways department helped with this major work and an army of volunteers assisted with the painting of restored signs and name collars.

A total of 30 signs were completely restored and had their unique historic junction names added on the triangular collars.  These signs are spread throughout the AONB and every Parish has at least one restored signpost.  These run from West Quantoxhead in the north west of the AONB to West Monkton in the south east.
This was no small project.  Funding was awarded by The Countryside Agency, Heritage Lottery Fund, Local Heritage Initiative, Nationwide, Friends of Quantock, Somerset County Council and the Quantock Hills AONB Service they make up an important part of our man-made landscape that is also worthy of protection.

Find out more about the project by downloading our traditional roadsigns information leaflet here

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