In the late eighteenth-century and the early nineteenth-century, Alfreton became an important stop-over for stagecoaches and numerous coaching inns were set-up to supply food, drink and accommodation to travellers. Turnpikes were opening up at a pace, with Alfreton seeing the quality of its roads improving in the late eighteenth-century, which also gave an obligation to the trustees of these operations to install milestones.
This cast-iron milestone is listed as being from the early nineteenth century, although might perhaps be just a little older, and it has a rather unusual format. Usually, the top of the milestone would have the name of the current city or town, which it does have, but on the sides would be the distances to the nearest settlements. Obviously the local residents didn’t feel the need to advertise the next town on the route, instead just adding that Alfreton was 0 miles away. Very helpful to travellers, although I suppose if they had too much ale, it might be useful the next morning.
Alfreton did well out of all the turnpikes, it connected the town to Derby, High Peak, Nottingham and Mansfield amongst others. This milestone was originally placed outside of the Old George Hotel, which was where the Turnpike Trust held their official meetings.