I can remember reading an article about a good soul who drove around Hampshire repairing the old fingerposts. These old posts, called fingerposts or guideposts appear all over the country. Each area seems to have it’s own style of posts and even within Hampshire, different areas have different posts.
The reason I mention the chap who, out of the goodness of his heart, took it upon himself to mend these posts, is because whilst out on a walk I came across this poor soul and wondered if it was going to finish up in the undergrowth or would it be saved? I had taken a picture of it only last Autumn and it seems to have taken a turn for the worse since then. The posts have traditionally been made of cast iron and the poles painted with black and white stripes. The fingers can be rotated around the pole and the pole itself is usually topped with a finial of some kind. Many of the Hampshire posts have a saw tooth on top of the finger.
The historical reason for the posts dates from 1697 when legislation was passed requiring guide posts to be placed at each crossroads. The Turnpike Act of 1773 then made guideposts compulsory on all Turnpike roads.
They add a lovely aspect to the countryside and many of them point to small places that may no longer exist or the place name is no longer in use. Some are much more modern but in a similar design but the old ones are lovely sturdy fellows. It would be a shame if they weren’t maintained as they also serve a very useful purpose, in our wandering lanes.
With this in mind I shall be collecting pictures of these signposts when out and about in Hampshire and adding them to the gallery of Hampshire photos.