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Historical milestone to be reinstated after development

Bell Bar's 18th century milestone removed

Demolition work at the Swan, Bell Bar
Photograph by Peter Miller taken 24 October 2018
The supervisor in charge of the demolition of the former Swan Inn, Bell Bar has given assurances to a representative of the North Mymms History Project (NMHP) that the historical 18th century milestone, that has probably stood on the corner of Bell Lane and the Great North Road for almost 200 years, is safe.

There were fears that an important piece of the area's history might be lost in the rubble. Last week this site covered those concerns in an article entitled Former Victorian inn demolished to make way for flats.

That article contained details of the historical significance of the milestone, and included the assurances, set out in the document granting planning permission, that the milestone would be protected.

The milestone leaning outside Swan Lodge Image by Peter Miller
The milestone leaning outside Swan Lodge, Bell Bar before demolition
Image by Peter Miller 

A spokesperson for the NMHP spoke to the person in charge of the work taking place on the site. When he asked about the milestone he was told they had "put it in a box and the owner had just taken it away".

The NMHP also checked with the Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council's Planning Department and was told that the original idea of a protective barrier around the milestone had been superseded by a new plan to survey the exact position, remove the milestone, and then reinstate it when the building work is completed.

The following images are close up screen grabs about the milestone taken from the plans which are embedded below. The document shows where the milestone will sit once restored to the site.

Eight one and two bedroom apartments

When completed the site will comprise of eight one- and two-bedroom apartments.

In 2016, the proposal to build the flats was opposed by the North Mymms District Green Belt Society. The society said that one of the grounds against development was that the area would lose an important part of its local history.

And although councillors finally voted through the plans to pull down the old coaching inn, a conditions were added to the planning approval to protect the 18th century milestone that leans against the front of the building, as can be seen above.

Historical importance

The building is mentioned in several articles on the North Mymms History Project, including: