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The Hertfordshire listed landmark missing for almost 40 years

Search for the Grade II listed item resumes

Photograph of the missing coal post which can be seen middle left of this picture taken in the early 1900s  Image from G. Knott and part of the Peter Miller Collection
The missing coal post can be seen middle left of this picture taken in the early 1900s
Image from G. Knott, part of the Peter Miller Collection

For more than 120 years a coal post stood at the junction of Warrengate Road and Hawkshead Lane in the Hertfordshire parish of North Mymms. In the early 1980s it disappeared. Since then, mystery has surrounded what happened to the historical listed landmark. Now the North Mymms History Project (NMHP) is keen to resume the search.

Is this the last known photograph of the coal post? 

Photograph of The Warrengate Road coal post photographed in 1972  Image by Martin Nail released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 2.0 UK
The Warrengate Road coal post photographed in 1972
Image by Martin Nail released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 2.0 UK

The image above is the most recent image the NMHP has found of the Warrengate Road coal post. It was taken in 1972 by historian Martin Nail.

Martin runs a site which maps all the coal posts around London. The missing Hertfordshire post is item number 32 in the list.

It used to sit on the north-east corner of a triangle of land to the south-west of the junction of Warrengate Road and Hawkshead Lane, see map below.

Still listed, not forgotten

Despite going missing almost 40 years ago, the coal post (grid reference TL 2303 0314) is still listed by Historic England as item “UID: 1103534”.

The organisation says the missing coal post will remain listed in case it is eventually found and restored to its original position.

And that’s where the NMHP comes in. The site wants to enlist the public’s help to try to find the missing coal post and have it reinstated where it belongs.

London Coal Duty Markers

For those wanting to know more about coal posts, the NMHP has a feature on its site about the coal posts of south Hertfordshire. There is also a piece about the 45 listed buildings/sites in the parish of North Mymms, which includes an interactive map showing all the sites.

The map has a black marker in memory of the missing post.

To give the post its full name, it’s a London Coal Duty Marker and, according to Historic England, it was probably cast in 1861 by Henry Grissell (also known as Iron Henry), at the Regents Canal Ironworks.

The Historic England entry reads:
“Cast iron square pier. Chamfered corners. Pyramid top. Painted white. City of London crest on necking. Inscription '24 Vict' on front face.”

Reward offered

If you think you have seen the coal post, or know where it might be, the NMHP would like to hear from you.

And there is a reward for the person who helps the project find the historical landmark - a pint of your choice in a North Mymms pub of your choice.

You can contact the site by using the contact form at the bottom of the right-hand column of any page on this site and we will pass the message on.

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