Return of the Stone Age: Historic boundary marker to be replaced

A PIECE of Saddleworth’s past has been preserved for posterity, allaying fears over possible damage or destruction to a “weathered stone slab.”

Earlier this year, the Independent reported on concerns of local history buffs over the future of a 130-year-old boundary marker in Greenfield.

The stone-made, anonymous-looking monument denotes the boundary between two of Saddleworth’s four Meres – Lordsmere and Shawmere.

At the time of our story it stood in front of the former Spring Grove Works on Chew Valley Road.

But with re-development of the site pending, there were fears the boundary marker might be damaged or lost during house building.

That construction has now started and while the boundary marker has disappeared it has only been temporarily removed.

David Whitmore, also the man behind the re-development of Greenfield Conservative Club, has confirmed the stone is safe, sound and ready to be returned once building work has finished.

He has even painted a marker on the pavement indicating where the stone stood.

“At first I had no idea what the stone was,” he told the Independent.

“So I went to Saddleworth Museum to do some research.

“I am new to developing but I am born and bred in Oldham and love the area.

“My first thought is to incorporate the stone into the wall of the development once it is finished. And wouldn’t it be good if it could be called Boundary Close?”

The weathered stone has been inspected by a stonemason as David is also keen to restore the wording as close to its former glory as possible without changing the design.

The stone probably dates from the 1890s as the roads were turnpikes before the 1880s.

The old turnpike road names were retained after the turnpikes trusts were wound up and the triangular milestones of 1894, of which 29 are still in existence in Saddleworth, use these names.

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