Coal Post

At Leaves Green there is a white post situated at the side of the Main Road and you probably don't give it a second glance as you pass. But if you had traveled the same way 140 years earlier you might have found queues of people, many with cart loads of coal, wine, clothing and food, haggling with the taxman. It is a coal tax post, many of which were erected following the Coal Duties Act of 1851, and thanks to them, many of the bridges across the Thames were paid for. 

Some are at busy road junctions, others are buried away in woodland and hidden in hedgerows. There is another in Sheepbarn Road and another a bit further in Kings Henry's Drive.

There are estimated to be 250 coal posts in the countryside surrounding London. Many mark the old boundaries for the collection of duties at points, roughly 20 miles from the General Post Office in the City of London.

In the distance on the horizon can be seen the towers at Canary Wharf, Docklands.


Tony Lewis