|www.ashtead.org | All things Ashtead | New Year - New Tax : Coal tax posts|
|If you're planning to calculate your tax by 31 January, how will you remember?
What markers will you use?
It may surprise you that there are iron-post markers around Ashtead to remind people of their tax dues.
After the Great Fire if London, all coal moving into London was subject to a tax to help fund the re-building program.
But where exactly did London start? This was not the time for the big "C" Congestion charge signs, but "coal tax posts". Different times required different taxes for different projects and in 1861 it was coal and wine to fund projects such as building of the Thames Embankment. Of the over 200 posts marking out the London District/Metropolitan Police District boundary, 11 were placed in and around Ashtead, at least 9 of which still remain.
The markers are white with a raised shield is the coat of arms of the City of London bearing the red Cross of St. George and Sword of St. Paul. The raised letters refer to the London Coal and Wine Duties Continuance Act, 1861. The 4 and 25 refer to the 24th and 25th years of Queen Victoria's reign and chapter 42 of the Statute book.
So the next time you go for a walk and encounter one of these think wine, coal, and tax! Don't worry the Act was abolished in 1889.
A precis of this article first appeared in Ashtead at Christmas 2007
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