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Could this be the missing North Mymms coal post?

Grade II listed item appears for sale on Facebook

Left the missing coal post, and right the one listed for sale on Facebook
Image on left courtesy of Martin Nail released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 2.0 UK
Image on right a screen grab from the Facebook listing
An investigation is underway into the attempt to sell a missing Grade II listed coal duty marker similar to the one that used to stand at the corner of Warrengate Road near the junction with Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms and which has been missing for almost 30 years.

North Mymms News was first alerted to the sale after a reader of our history site, the North Mymms History Project, reported seeing a coal post advertised on a Facebook page for Enfield.

The item, priced at £450, looks similar to the missing item, although if it is the same one it's had a fresh coat of paint.

The Warrengate Road coal post pictured in 1972
Image by Martin Nail released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 2.0 UK
According to one local resident the coal post was in place in the early 1990s. He says it was partially uprooted for a while and left on its side before it vanished, possibly in 1991.
“It was on the corner of that triangle of land between Swanland Road and Warrengate Road (where there used to be a smallholding). The last time I saw it it was lying on its side with about a foot of “root” exposed. It disappeared shortly thereafter.”
Another local resident recalls seeing the coal post lying on the ground in the same spot.
“The post looked as if it had been hit by a vehicle and was lying with its top pointing north. It could have been moved after the accident, of course. It could have been uprooted, or it could have been broken, with the base/foundation remaining in place until being dug up later.”

The missing post was on the south side of the Swanland Road cut through, at grid reference TL 23030 03154.

For those who use What Three Words, the location was possibly in the 3m square grid named as teeth.hangs.unions.

Historic England investigating

This site contacted Historic England who have a listing for the missing coal post. The last known photograph of the post - at the spot where it had stood for more than 100 years - was taken in 1972 Martin Nail.

\We were put through to Historic England’s Head of Heritage Crime Strategy, Mark Harrison, who recommended we report it to Hertfordshire police so that Historic England’s crime team could investigate.

Soon after reporting it to Hertfordshire police the Facebook advert disappeared, but not before we’d taken a few screen shots of the item (below). The advert has recently been restored.

The coal post that was offered for sale on an Enfield Facebook page for £450 Screen grab from the Facebook listing before it was taken down
The coal post that was offered for sale on an Enfield Facebook page for £450
Screen grab from the Facebook listing

The top of the coal post  Screen grab from the Facebook listing before it was taken down
The top of the coal post 
Screen grab from the Facebook listing
Base of the coal post that was offered for sale on Facebook for £450 Screen grab from the Facebook listing before it was taken down
The base of the coal post that was for sale on Facebook
Screen grab from the Facebook listing
The Historic England Crime Liaison team say they will continue to provide support and advice to Hertfordshire police during the investigation.

The coal post is described by Historic England as:
“City of London Coal Duty Marker. 1861. Cast by H. Grissell, Regents Canal Ironworks. Cast iron square pier. Chamfered corners. Pyramid top. Painted white. City of London crest on necking. Inscription ‘24 Vict’ on front face”.

There were originally an estimated 280 posts within a 20 mile radius of London of which about 210 remain.

According to Historic England the missing post is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 for its special architectural or historic interest is one of 45 listed places in North Mymms.

We have a feature on the North Mymms History Project about the South Hertfordshire coal posts.

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